May 18th, 2005, 6:51 am
Unneccesary Disclaimer: JK Rowling is a goddess and I love her. That should suffice.
Here we go again. #4!
Sorry, but before this you've got to go read Escape (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=20762). I promise you, this story will make absolutely no sense without reading it. It wouldn't hurt to read the sequel A Chance To Live (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=25502) as well, you'll get to know one of the original characters this story follows a lot better, and there are at least a few things in this story that will turn into jokes if you've read it. So go read before things get spoiled!
Now that that's done. If you are looking for more angst, you better get out of here. This fic is going to take place in the Escape world, aka Leilani and Harry Two's world, from the end of fifth year to the beginning of sixth. If you've read the other fics, you know much of this story never happened, but this is how the memories of the characters would recall it. It's basically going to be a teenage love story so it's bound to get silly at one point or another, or possibly silly at all points. But that's okay with me, I've had too much time in the dark land of fan fiction, I need to write something light and fluffy.
Last thing, credit for the title. I took it from the title of one of my favorite songs, which is by the beautiful Rufus Wainwright. (He is the knight who currently lives in my signature.) The title was chosen for many reasons, one of which should be fairly obvious.
Post feedback here (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?p=2260564#post2260564)
“I hate Cedric Diggory!”
Harry Potter sighed as he watched Leilani Black throw her arms around her best friend, Hermione Granger, and burst into tears for what seemed to everyone like the hundredth time that day. As bad as he felt for her, Harry was very tired of listening to Leilani complain about Cedric, since she had been doing so ever since she woke up that Saturday morning. His best friend, Ron Weasley, had escaped by telling them he had to use the restroom and had now been gone for almost an hour. Taking the same way out as Ron almost sounded like a good idea, but Harry felt a duty to stay and try to comfort Leilani, as she was a very close friend, one that he had had for his whole life.
“You wouldn’t be crying about this if you really hated him,” said Hermione. Harry rolled his eyes. He thought she was being far too logical for the situation.
“I do hate him!” Leilani sobbed into her shoulder. “What kind of horrible person breaks up with their girlfriend while she’s right in the middle of her O.W.L.’s?”
“Cedric Diggory?” suggested Harry.
“Right! I hate him!”
“But maybe this isn’t such a bad thing,” said Harry, trying to be logical despite thinking Hermione shouldn’t have been moments before. Leilani pulled her head up from Hermione’s shoulder and glared at him. “I mean, he’s leaving Hogwarts this year, so now you won’t have to worry about whether the relationship is going to last. Plus, you know you’d have a hard time keeping an eye on him. He might have gone cheating on you if he hadn’t done this.”
“Oh, you wait Harry! Wait until Cho’s about to graduate next year and I’ll be spitting out the same reasons why you should be glad she’s broken up with you!”
“I trust Cho. I don’t need to keep an eye on her.” Harry had been dating Cho Chang for a few months now, and no matter what Leilani said, he couldn’t imagine her breaking up with him. Cho had eyes for nobody but him.
“I don’t know about that, you need to keep an eye on everyone these days,” said Leilani darkly. Harry sighed again.
“I guess,” he said. “But whatever I say, you are right, he’s a complete git for doing this right now. I mean, you finally get out exams for the week, he tells you it’s over, and somehow expects you to be able to concentrate on another week of exams? I feel terribly for you, I really do. If he messes up your scores I’ll curse him for you. I promise.”
“Aww, thanks Harry,” said Leilani appreciatively, giving him a smile through her tears.
“Listen,” said Hermione. “You shouldn’t let Cedric ruin your O.W.L.’s. Why don’t you and I try to study some Arithmancy?”
“Okay,” said Leilani after taking a deep breath.
“I’ll just go upstairs and get my charts and everything,” said Hermione, and she got up and went to her dormitory. With Hermione gone, Leilani shifted over so she could lean on Harry instead. Harry put his arms around her and gave her what he hoped were comforting pats. Leilani seemed to appreciate them. As he sat there holding her, however, Harry found himself wishing that she was Cho instead so they could have a nice kissing session to get his mind off stressful exams and Leilani’s problems. He wouldn’t dare leave Leilani if he didn’t have an excuse though, but they were studying a subject Harry wasn’t in, so he was hopeful that he could find one. The sun was still up, so maybe he could find Cho before it got too late.
Finally Hermione returned, looking very annoyed.
“There’s this one chart I can’t find anywhere, and I think I must have left it outside by the lake yesterday when I was studying between exams,” she announced. “I hope it hasn’t been ruined.”
“Maybe I have a copy,” said Leilani.
“No, I think it’s from the day you were out sick.”
“I can go look for it,” said Harry, eager to get some fresh air, and to hopefully find Cho. Hermione agreed and showed him what the chart would look like, and Harry soon happily left the Gryffindor common room to go look for it. He decided to get down to the lake as quickly as he could and find Hermione’s chart in record speed, so that he could look all over for Cho afterward and tell her afterward that it had taken him a long time to search the lake.
He reached his destination and searched the area where Hermione told him she had been studying, but he had no success. He decided to look further, walking through some bushes, thinking that it might have been blown there by the wind. It was not long before he found the chart caught in the bottom branches of a bush. Harry took it out and pocketed it.
Harry was about to take off and go back to the castle, when he heard some giggling in the distance that sounded very much like it was coming from Cho. Smiling to himself, he turned around with the idea of getting rid of whoever she was giggling with as soon as he found her. He quickly walked towards the direction of the noise. But when Harry reached a clearing in the bushes and found his girlfriend, all happiness left him and a cold, horrible feeling filled his body.
Cho was lying on the ground, her arms around a boy who was much too tall to be Harry (he thought that if this person hadn’t been so tall, he might have been having a strange out-of-body experience), and she was kissing him passionately. Harry stared at them for what seemed to him like a very long time, even though it was only seconds, before Cho realized she was being watched and turned to look at Harry. Her eyes widened in horror.
“Harry!” she said, as she quickly stood up. “Listen, it’s not... I can...”
Harry felt his eyes watering, but he didn’t dare let himself cry in front of her, even though he felt so upset and so betrayed.
“How could you do this to me?” he said weakly. Cho, looking very guilty now, opened her mouth but didn’t answer. Meanwhile, the boy stood up beside her, and Harry looked at his face for the first time. His mouth dropped open in outrage when he saw who it was: Cedric Diggory.
“YOU!” Harry roared.
“Now, Harry,” said Cedric. “Don’t get-”
“DON’T YOU TALK TO ME!” Both Cedric and Cho looked frightened. Harry very rarely got angry and neither of them had seen him in a temper before. “I can’t believe you! You know I’ve been up there comforting Leilani all day because of you? While she’s crying her eyes out, what are you doing?”
“Harry, please!” said Cho pleadingly.
“YOU’RE OUT HERE SNOGGING MY GIRLFRIEND!”
“Well if you wouldn’t spend so much time with Leilani-”
Harry interrupted Cho.
“She’s my best friend!”
“I was going to talk to you yesterday about this but then you had to go off with her and-”
“Because of him!” Harry yelled, pointing at Cedric.
“You spend more time with her than me,” said Cho. Harry looked at her in disbelief.
“I’ve spent more time with her than anyone in this school, yes, but that doesn’t mean anything!”
“Don’t think I don’t notice you flirting with her...”
“I do not flirt with her!” Harry shouted. “And why are you putting this on me? It’s you who cheated on me!”
Cho folded her arms and looked at the ground. Cedric just stood there very awkwardly. Harry glared at the pair of them.
“Wait until I tell Leilani,” said Harry more quietly, and threateningly. “It’ll be too bad if my fellow Gryffindors overhear us talking about you. Because you know, as of now they seem to respect you two, but, well, all good things must come to an end.”
“Harry, no!” Cho protested, but Harry turned and furiously ran all the way back to Gryffindor Tower.
May 20th, 2005, 1:58 am
Forgot to mention, the chapters have alternating points of view between Harry and Leilani. Which would be obvious about 2 lines into this but I thought I'd say it anyway.
“I HATE CEDRIC DIGGORY!”
Leilani jumped in her seat when she heard Harry behind her, yelling at the top of his lungs. The entire room had gone silent. She looked away from the Arithmancy charts in front of her and around at Harry. His face was all red, his fists were clenched, and he looked absolutely furious.
“Wow, I appreciate that you feel bad for me, but what are you-”
“Guess who I just found kissing Cho in the bushes?”
“Oh Harry!” Then she realized who it must have been. “NO!”
“He left me for Cho!” Leilani burst into tears once again. She didn’t notice that they had attracted the attention of everyone in the very full common room. Hermione sighed to herself and starting putting away their Arithmancy notes.
“Don’t you cry any more over him, Leilani,” Harry ordered angrily, sitting down next to her. “He’s not worth it. Neither of them are. We’re too good for them.”
“I wish that dragon last year had eaten him!” Leilani exclaimed wildly as she wiped her face with her sleeve, thinking back to the Tri-Wizard Tournament the year before.
“And you know what the stupidest thing is?”
“Cho tried to put the blame on me, and you. She said,” Harry put on a high-pitched voice in Cho’s exact accent, “Oh you flirt with Leilani every day, you spend so much time with her, I think you two fancy each other and play footsie at every meal, I think you spend your time dreaming of her instead of me so it’s all your fault I’m an evil hag with no soul who steals other people’s boyfriends-”
“What?” Leilani shrieked, hardly believing her ears. “The day you and I play footsie at every meal, I’m a flying flobberworm! I can’t believe she said that!”
“Oh Harry, what did you ever see in her? What did I ever see in him?” Leilani had stopped crying by now. She felt more angry now than sad. Hermione had been right before, she had been crying because she wanted Cedric back, but now, she felt so furious that she thought she wouldn’t mind if she never saw him again. And if she did, she’d have to hit him.
Leilani and Harry spent hours ranting about Cedric and Cho, trying to think of every single negative characteristic that they possessed, and then exaggerating how bad they were when they told each other about them. Before they knew it, they had gathered an interactive audience that would gasp and yell in outrage at the appropriate times during their stories. Leilani might have felt like a terribly mean person if she hadn’t felt so betrayed and so furious.
By the time two in the morning rolled around, only Harry was left in the common room with Leilani. Her throat hurt from yelling so much, and from the sound of Harry’s hoarse voice, she suspected his did too. Now they just sat side by side on a small couch talking much more quietly, the subject drifting away from Cedric and Cho and towards relationships in general.
“Doesn’t it all seem kind of pointless to you?” asked Leilani with a yawn.
“Oh, you don’t mean that.”
“But no, I meant relationships. You get a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, and in the end, you either have to break up or get married. Or just drift apart, I guess, but that’s like breaking up. What is the point dating all the people before the one you end up with for life?”
“Experience I guess,” answered Harry. “You can see what works and what doesn’t. And you get to do fun stuff with them. If you know what I mean.”
“I know. But I’ll never understand people who’s goal is just to go out with as many people as they possibly can.”
“I just want...” Leilani frowned at the dying fire.
“What?” asked Harry. Leilani shifted in her seat so that she could look at him as she talked.
“Well, look at our parents. They were only, what, twenty years old when they got married? And we’re almost sixteen.”
“Leilani,” said Harry. “Our parents are also crazy, you realize this?”
“Well, yes,” admitted Leilani. “But they’re happy, they’re still together. They were Hogwarts sweethearts, and it lasted. I wouldn’t mind that happening to me.”
“I guess that might be nice, but I think we’re still too young to seriously think about that kind of stuff,” Harry said with a shrug. “Of course, if that doesn’t happen we might end up with muggles. Not that that would be a bad thing, exactly, but still...”
Leilani laughed. Then she sighed.
“I just want someone who I can trust. I mean, look at these trolls we’ve been dating. Can’t trust them at all. They deserve each other.”
“Definitely. They can go have pretty deceptive children just like them.”
“I don’t think we became good enough friends with them either, if you know what I mean. The person you end up with for good should be like your best friend. But I would still call you my best friend, and Hermione too of course, when I was going out with him. Now that I think of it, Cedric was just like a really cute snogging partner who I got along with most of the time, but not exactly partner-for-life material.”
“Yeah, same with Cho,” agreed Harry. “And you’re right. Cho never understood me like you do, or how Ron and Hermione do. How can you spend your whole life with someone who doesn’t get you?”
“You can’t.” Leilani turned to face the fire and started staring into it again. “How are we ever going to find anyone else?”
“I have no idea,” answered Harry.
“Life is stupid,” announced Leilani. Then she corrected herself. “No, love is stupid.”
“Yeah it is.”
“We’re hopeless, Harry.”
“We sure are.”
Leilani and Harry finally went to bed at around three. The next day, Leilani woke up at noon, and discovered that she had been the last girl in Gryffindor Tower to wake up, and when she got down to the common room, that Harry had been the last boy. So, they headed down to the Great Hall together to have lunch. Ron and Hermione weren’t there when they arrived, so they sat alone.
Just a few minutes into their quiet meal, Leilani looked up to see Cedric and Cho entering the room together. She elbowed Harry, and he soon saw them too. Cho seemed to be oblivious to the fact that they and much of the Gryffindor table were glaring at them. Either that, or she was choosing to ignore it. Cedric, who was lagging behind Cho a little bit, stopped in his tracks when he saw Leilani staring at him. He looked rather apologetic, like he might come over to talk to her, but she didn’t want him to. Leilani slowly held up her arm and gave him a hand gesture that she hoped very much her father was not watching her make from the staff table. Cedric looked away from her and marched over to the Hufflepuff table to sit down.
“At least Cedric seems sorry about the whole thing,” Harry commented quietly in her ear. “Cho won’t even look at me.”
“Let’s not talk about them,” said Leilani irritably.
Leilani spent much of the rest of the day with Harry, not feeling as depressed as the day before, but still not feeling as good as she normally did. They spent the afternoon taking walks around the school grounds and trying to think of anything to talk about other than Cedric and Cho. They usually had plenty to talk about, but Leilani could not get the whole ordeal out of her mind, and she suspected Harry couldn’t either, so there were many long silences. This was okay with Leilani though; she just enjoyed having Harry’s company, now more than she ever had.
When the sun started to set, they were still outside, walking along the edge of the forest.
“Do you realize we haven’t studied all day?” asked Leilani.
“Yeah, I was just thinking about that,” Harry answered. “What are our parents going to think when we get D’s on all our O.W.L.’s?”
“Or the dreaded T,” said Leilani.
“Do T’s really exist?” Harry asked.
“I have no idea,” shrugged Leilani. “So do you want to go study for Potions together?”
“I was actually thinking about doing some flying before going back to school,” said Harry, looking up at the sky.
“But Potions is tomorrow.”
“I know, but I want to relax a bit first.”
Leilani looked away from Harry and down at the grass.
“So it’s not relaxing to be with me?” she asked, making a point to sound hurt.
“Don’t be stupid, Leilani,” said Harry. “I just want to fly a little, it always makes me feel better. You go up there without me, I’ll join you in awhile.”
“Okay,” Leilani sighed, and she went back up to Gryffindor Tower by herself.
May 22nd, 2005, 1:52 am
Monday morning, Harry woke up before the other boys in his dormitory, and as he discovered when he got downstairs, Leilani and Hermione. He was starving though, so he didn’t bother waiting for anyone and went to the almost empty Great Hall by himself to get some breakfast. After a little while, he saw Seamus Finnigan come into the hall, and since there was nobody else in their year up yet, he sat with Harry.
“How are you, Harry?” asked Seamus, as he loaded up his plate.
“Better. Not great.”
“Don’t stay too upset about Cho.” Seamus had been in the common room for much of his and Leilani’s loud conversation about her and Cedric. “It’s probably better that it ended earlier than later. I mean, before you got too attached.”
“I know, I know,” sighed Harry. “You’re probably right, Leilani seems to be having a harder time than me, and she and Cedric had been going out since November.”
“It was only March with you and Cho, right?”
“Yeah, towards the end,” confirmed Harry. “I still liked having a girlfriend though.”
“It’s not like you’ll never get another one though, is it?”
“Seems like it,” Harry said, poking at his eggs instead of eating them.
“You’ve only been single for what, two days?” Seamus laughed. “Of course you will.”
“Who? There’s nobody else.”
“Oh come on, Harry,” said Seamus, rolling his eyes.
“Who then?” Harry put his fork down and looked at Seamus expectantly. “Who would be desperate enough to go out with me now?”
“She’s not exactly desperate, but what about Leilani?”
“Yeah, she’s available now, this is big news,” grinned Seamus.
“I don’t think about her like that.”
“You don’t? I always thought you kind of liked her, but didn’t do anything about it because you were already with Cho.”
“You did?” Harry asked, feeling quite surprised. Seamus nodded. “Well I didn’t.”
“So you’ve never considered it?”
“The thought might have crossed my mind, but not seriously. She always has other people after her anyway.”
“Well maybe that’s the problem,” Seamus laughed. “You’ve been too hooked on Cho for too long that you haven’t seriously considered any other girls. When did you start liking her?”
“Fourth year,” lied Harry. It had been his third year.
“And before that you were too, er, innocent, so to speak, to think of Leilani as more than just one of the boys, right?”
“Right, so of course you’ve never seriously thought of Leilani like that.”
“I don’t fancy Leilani,” Harry insisted, picking up his fork and determinedly looking down at his food instead of Seamus.
“Why not?” asked Seamus, acting as if Harry was very stupid not to. “She’s just about the prettiest girl in school, don’t tell me you haven’t realized this?”
“Well, yeah, she’s not bad, but...”
“I could name five people off the top of my head who fancy her.”
“So could I, but that means I should too?”
“Well you spend so much time with her, it would only make sense for you to go out with her. You have a much better chance with her than anybody else. You know you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“Whatever you say, Seamus. But I’m not talking about this anymore,” announced Harry. “I don’t know how we got on this subject. I’m in mourning, I don’t need to think about new girlfriends.”
“Here she comes anyway,” said Seamus, turning his head. A very tired looking Leilani was walking over to the Gryffindor table, and Dean Thomas was close behind her. “See you, Harry.” Seamus winked at Harry, who rolled his eyes. Seamus moved so that he could sit with Dean, and Leilani took his place to sit across from Harry.
“Morning, Harry,” she yawned, taking some eggs and putting them on her plate.
“Morning,” he mumbled. Harry glanced down at Seamus. He lifted his eyebrows at Harry suggestively. He looked quickly away from Seamus and back at Leilani. She started talking about their breakfast, but Harry hardly listened, because he was thinking about what Seamus had said. No matter how outraged he had attempted to act when the idea of Leilani as a girlfriend had been proposed, the idea actually didn’t seem all that ridiculous. And even if he was still upset about Cho, there was nothing like a new love interest to get you over the old one, was there?
But was Seamus right? Sure, at least five boys had asked her to the Yule Ball the year before, but was Leilani Black, his best girl friend, really the prettiest girl at Hogwarts? Harry had always thought she had the nicest eyes he’d ever seen, blue, but darker than in anyone else with blue eyes he’d ever met. But that was all, right? Beautiful eyes, that was it... She had her mother’s nose, a very nicely shaped nose. Harry had thought before that Cho had the best lips, but as he looked at Leilani’s, he thought that maybe he was wrong. And he noticed for the first time that her hair was practically perfect, very dark brown, it waved ever so slightly and fell over her shoulders so gracefully... Wow, and he never noticed what an amazingly nice figure she had-
“Harry!” Leilani said, very loudly. “Are you listening to me?”
Harry jumped in his seat and looked anywhere but Leilani’s face.
“Er, yeah,” he said. He really hoped he wasn’t turning red.
“Is there something on my shirt?” she asked, looking down at it. Harry, horrified at himself, lowered his head as he began to eat again.
“How’d you sleep?” asked Harry, trying to change the subject. He didn’t really listen to her answer though. He would never admit it, but now that Seamus had planted the idea in his head, he couldn’t help at least considering the idea of Leilani as a potential girlfriend. She was very pretty, as Seamus pointed out. And hadn’t Leilani said that the person you are with should be your best friend?
‘She didn’t mean you should just go out with whoever happens to be your best friend, Harry!’ he thought scoldingly to himself. No. Just because Leilani was his best friend and, as he had just noticed, had the nicest most kissable looking lips did not mean they should be together.
Besides, even if he did like her, Leilani would never go for him, he was just her friend. He wasn’t nearly as good looking or tall as Cedric. Tall dark and handsome. Harry had never realized what a terrible phrase that was. He was convinced he wasn’t any of the three, so what chance did he really have with her, and how had he ever fooled Cho into going for him in the first place?
And why was it that girls always went for ridiculously tall boys? Lavender and Parvati were always dreamily talking about boys, and never failed to mention how tall they were. Harry couldn’t help that he was under six feet, why should Leilani not like him because of that? Cho had left Harry for a taller boy. Leilani was taller than Cho, but she was only a couple inches shorter than Harry, so she would probably think he was too short to date. Ron would probably have a better chance with her than Harry did. Why couldn’t he be about five inches taller? Why was life so unfair?
“What’s wrong, Harry?” Leilani asked, throwing him out of his thoughts. “You look really annoyed.”
“Oh, er... Cho. You know.”
“I thought we agreed we were over them.”
“You’re not over Cedric, Hermione told me when I got back last night that you were crying again.”
Leilani glared at him and went back to her breakfast.
“I am too,” she mumbled. Within seconds Leilani dropped her fork and stood up. “I’m going to go study for Arithmancy, see you later.”
“But today is Potions, we could study together.”
“I need to study Arithmancy, it’s harder.” Leilani left without even glancing at him.
“Brilliant, Harry,” he said to himself. Great. Now she had gone and made him feel guilty about making her feel bad. Harry hated when Leilani was upset with him.
The worst thing of all was that Seamus had planted this horribly good idea in his head. He hated that he liked the idea. Why did he like the idea? Was he so impressionable that he was going to get a crush on his best friend just because Seamus had suggested he should? No. It probably only seemed like a good idea because he was still vulnerable after his breakup with Cho. That was it. Leilani was just going to be Rebound-Girl if he started developing feelings for her now. She didn’t deserve that label. No, Harry was not going to let himself fall for her.
Harry pushed aside his plate and pulled out his Potions book, determining, but not quite succeeding, to push Seamus’ idea out of his mind.
May 24th, 2005, 2:48 am
Leilani arrived in the library and found Hermione alone at a table with her Potions book open in front of her.
“Why didn’t you come to breakfast first?” Leilani asked quietly, as she sat across from her and pulled out her own book.
“I’ll eat later, I need to look up a few things,” Hermione answered without looking up, sounding very uptight. Leilani tried to read a page describing the effects of Polyjuice Potion for five minutes without success before speaking to Hermione again.
“Why’d you tell Harry I was crying yesterday?”
“Because you were,” answered Hermione, her eyes still on the book.
“Hermione!” Leilani whispered loudly.
“Why do you care, anyway?” Hermione asked, slamming her book shut and finally looking up at her. “He asked why you weren’t in the common room studying last night. He’s concerned about you.”
“I care because... because he’s probably over Cho already and I don’t want to seem...” Leilani paused as Hermione closed her eyes momentarily and shook her head. “I don’t want him to think I’m... weak or pathetic or something.”
“First of all,” Hermione began, “Harry is not over Cho. You know he’s still angry. Secondly, you are not weak or pathetic, and Harry doesn’t think so either. He knows you better than I do, which is pretty scary, and I know that you being sad about getting dumped by your boyfriend of seven months for another girl is not a sign of weakness. He will too.”
“Dumped,” said Leilani. “That’s such a horrible word.”
“Are you listening to me?”
“Yes,” Leilani sighed. “It’s the way he said it though, You’re not over Cedric, Hermione said you were crying last night. It’s like he was pointing it out just to make me feel bad again.”
“He was not. Why did he bring it up anyway?”
“’Cause he looked all annoyed so I asked him why and he said he was thinking about Cho, so I said I thought we agreed we were over them.”
“Honestly, Leilani!” Hermione said a little louder than she should have in the library. “You just said Harry was over Cho, right after he admitted he was thinking about her!”
“Don’t worry about it, Leilani.”
The truth was, Leilani just didn’t want to talk about Cedric and Cho with Harry anymore. She wanted to forget them completely and to be able to enjoy her time with him without having to worry about either of them. She hadn’t said anything to him, but after their night-long talk on Saturday night, Leilani had found herself wanting to spend time with Harry constantly. It might have been because he was the only other person right now who really knew how she felt, or maybe it was simply out of a need for comfort from someone she could depend on. Either way, the urge was strong, yet something in her was preventing her from telling him she was feeling like this. Leilani thought he might be bothered by it and think she was being clingy. She had not only been crying about Cedric the night before, she had also been paranoid that Harry was trying to push her away when she wanted him around the most.
The logical part of her mind thought that he might be feeling the same way, and that he probably would not think she was being clingy. Harry was her best friend after all, he would most likely understand if she voiced her feelings to him. But so soon after having Cedric break up with her, Leilani felt that she could not even handle the possibility of being rejected by someone she cared about again. So for now, she was going to keep these feelings to herself.
Still, Leilani thought that she better go apologize to Harry for walking out on him in a huff, so she left Hermione alone in the library. When she arrived back in the Great Hall, Harry was still sitting in the same place as before, only this time, his head was lying face down on his open Potions book with his breakfast abandoned next to him, and he was muttering unintelligibly to himself. Leilani took a seat next to him and poked him in the side. He lifted his head and looked at her momentarily before staring down at his book.
“I’m sorry I said that,” mumbled Harry.
“Well I’m sorry I took it so badly,” Leilani said. Harry nodded. “So... we’re good?”
“Have we ever stayed angry with each other for more than a day?”
“Then we’re good,” said Harry. “Erm... So, you want to study together now?”
“Okay,” grinned Leilani.
Leilani somehow managed to concentrate on all her studying and her O.W.L. exams that week, despite everything that had happened. Before she knew it, her exams were over, her fifth year at Hogwarts was over and she, Harry, Hermione, and Ron were boarding the Hogwarts Express to go home for the summer. They spent much of the ride talking about how wonderful it was to have the O.W.L.’s behind them and a lazy summer ahead of them. They went on to talk about their summer plans, which were fairly nonexistent, except for in Hermione’s case.
“Hey, Hermione, when are you leaving for Italy?” asked Ron, as he opened one of the Chocolate Frogs he had bought off the food cart.
“In two weeks. We’re leaving on a Sunday, I don’t remember what day of the month that is.”
“The fifteenth,” said Harry.
“We’re leaving on the fifteenth.”
“Weren’t you going to go to America before?” asked Harry.
“Well, yes, my dad wanted America and my mum wanted Italy,” Hermione began to explain. “I was leaning toward Italy, but the thing is, with the way everything worked out with the travel companies, we’d have to do Italy in July, or America in August, so I decided we should go to America instead so I could be home to get my O.W.L. results in July.”
Ron started laughing. Hermione rolled her eyes at him.
“I convinced her that she should spend the month relaxing rather than waiting,” Leilani told them when Hermione didn’t continue. Harry grinned at her, seeming very amused. “She wanted Italy, so they should go to Italy.”
“Yeah, Leilani talked some sense into me.”
“Ahh, good,” said Ron. “Well you better bring me some good Italian food, Hermione.”
“It’ll get moldy on the way home, Ron.”
“Right, then bring me some good Italian sweets.” he grinned.
“Okay, I can do that,” said Hermione.
“And you better learn some fun phrases to teach us,” added Leilani.
“Oh, definitely,” agreed Hermione. “Oh! Did Angelina tell any of you about her party?”
“Her birthday is in October, though, isn’t it?” Harry asked.
“Not all parties are birthday parties, Harry,” said Hermione. Leilani giggled at Harry. “I think it’s more like a graduation party.”
“When is it?” asked Ron.
“I’m not sure, but she said it’s before I leave. She said we’ll all get invitations this week. It sounds like it’ll be fun.”
Before they knew it, the Hogwarts Express had arrived in London, where Leilani’s mother, Adriana Black, was waiting to pick her up. She gave hugs to all three of her friends, with Harry receiving an extra long one. It wasn’t as if she wouldn’t see him in the summer, but it would still probably be a week, which seemed like far too long.
Leilani spent the next day catching up with her mother, telling her about everything that had happened the week before, as well as anything interesting that had happened to her that year that she hadn’t been able to fit into letters. Her father, Sirius Black, arrived that evening. Since he was the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, he always had a little bit of business to take care of before returning home to his wife and daughter for the summer.
That night at dinner, Leilani’s father brought up the subject of Cedric. Leilani had not told him what had happened yet.
“So, Lei,” he began. “I saw that gesture you made at your boyfriend the other day. Even teachers hear rumors, but I want-”
“He dumped me,” Leilani said quietly, looking away from him and down at her plate.
“Honestly, Sirius, have a little sympathy,” his wife interjected. “And do we have to talk about this over dinner? This is a delicate subject for Leilani.”
“She told me all about it last night.”
Leilani’s father stayed silent for another minute or two before he said anything else. Leilani was still looking only at the piece of chicken she was cutting and pretending it was very interesting.
“Well, I am very sorry, Lei. But I won’t deny that I never thought he was right for you.”
Leilani’s fork and knife landed loudly on her plate. She lifted her head up and gave him an incredulous look. Now that she was no longer with Cedric, she agreed with him, but she still didn’t like the fact that he had said it.
“What is wrong with you, Dad?” she yelled. “I knew you were going to say that, that’s why I didn’t tell you!”
“Leilani Diggory would be a terrible name, and besides, he’s nearly three years older than you.”
“Fifteen year old girls are just as mature, if not more mature than eighteen year old boys. Trust me, I know from experience.”
“I won’t deny that,” he said. “But I was once an eighteen year old boy, so I also know what they’re like. I was afraid he would try to take advantage of you.”
“Can you really blame me, Leilani?”
“You’ve forgotten that I’m the top in my class at the subject you teach, Father, so if he ever tried anything I didn’t want him to, which he didn’t, I could have cursed him.”
“I would just rather that you stick to a nice boy your own age. For example-”
“And I would rather if you minded your own business!”
Leilani didn’t speak to her father for the rest of the night, and made a point to go through her mother if she had anything to say to him. The next morning, however, she decided to get over her anger when she received an invitation to Angelina’s party, which was going to be on the Friday before Hermione’s vacation. The main reason she decided to start speaking to her father again was so she could expect a good answer when she asked to go to the party. Once she got permission from both him and her mother, she decided to ask Harry if he wanted to get a ride with her.
Leilani flopped onto her bed and picked up a small square mirror off her bedside table. Her father had given this mirror to her years before, and James Potter had given an identical one to Harry. Leilani looked into the mirror.
“Harry Potter.” Within seconds her reflection disappeared, and all she could see was black. She frowned at the mirror. Leilani put her mouth close to the mirror and yelled at it. “HARRY!”
From what she saw, it looked as if Harry was pulling his mirror out of his pocket. His face appeared in the mirror.
“Hold on,” he said, and he put it back in his pocket. Leilani heard his muffled voice saying something she couldn’t understand, then pounding footsteps, and a door shutting loudly. Harry’s face reappeared, and he smiled. “Hi Leilani. How are you?”
“Why did you have it in your pocket?” she asked instead of answering his question.
“I was planning on talking to you soon. So, I asked how you were.”
“I’m okay, I guess. Still a little depressed about everything, and my dad was just horrible last night-”
“He was happy, wasn’t he?”
“Yeah, the overprotective git. Anyway, Angelina’s invitation cheered me up so I’m fine now. Did you get one?”
“This morning,” answered Harry. “Did you want to go together? I was just asking my dad if he could take us.”
“I was going to offer my dad’s services, but that works,” Leilani said. “So I’ll floo over around seven thirty. We can be fashionably late.”
“Okay,” Harry laughed. When he stopped, he looked away from his mirror momentarily before speaking again. “Hey, do you want to do something with me next week? I’ve been dying to get lunch at that really good sandwich shop near my house after being in school all year, you could come with me if you want.”
Leilani didn’t answer right away. After wanting to spend more time with Harry lately, it annoyed her very much that she had to tell him that she couldn’t.
“I don’t think I can, my mum has next week off work so she wants me and Dad to be around.”
“Oh,” he said. “Erm, well, that’s fine. I’ll see you in a couple weeks then.”
“I’m sorry, Harry.”
“No, it’s fine, really, I see you all the time at school anyway. I can go two weeks of my life without seeing you.”
Harry grinned at her, but Leilani didn’t say anything right away. She found herself hoping that he was lying to her out of disappointment.
“I’ll see you on the thirteenth then,” she said, making herself smile at him.
“Okay. Bye Leilani.”
May 26th, 2005, 2:20 am
The night before Angelina’s party, Harry was having dinner with his parents, Lily and James Potter, when his mother decided to bring up the subject of Cho. His parents had not tried to talk to him about Cho since he had told them what had happened with her nearly two weeks before. Harry figured that they had not wanted to upset him by bringing her up, and he had been perfectly fine with it.
“So, Harry, you haven’t mentioned Cho lately,” she commented as casually as she could manage to. “How are you feeling about the whole situation now that it’s been a few weeks?”
Harry spent most of his girl related thinking time on Leilani these days, so he had actually not thought much about Cho. As much as he had tried to shut them out, the feelings had refused to be stopped from coming, and he had developed the strongest, stupidest, most maddening and annoying crush he had ever experienced. It was great in the fact that he was fairly sure that Leilani Black was the most wonderful person he could think of to have these feelings for, and he didn’t know why he had needed help from Seamus to realize it. Yet, it was aggravating since he was afraid of what might happen to their friendship because of it, and at this point he was convinced Leilani would never think of him as more than a friend.
As far as his parents went, however, he still didn’t want to let on that he was thinking of any girl other than Cho, especially since the girl in question was their goddaughter.
“Cho is evil.”
“I know you feel that way-” his father said. Before he could continue, Harry interrupted him.
“She cheated on me, of course I feel that way. Do we really have to talk about her?”
“I suppose not.”
They ate in silence for one more minute before his mother brought her up again.
“You know, maybe it’s for the best that it happened, Harry. She was nearly a year and a half older than you, wasn’t she?”
“So what if she was older than me? Hermione’s mum is two years older than her dad.”
“Well, Harry,” she continued. “When you started dating her, I was worried that she might... take advantage of you.”
Harry dropped his fork without meaning to.
“You are kidding, aren’t you?”
“I’m male,” Harry announced.
“I know that, Harry, I’m your mother.”
“Mum, girls don’t take advantage of boys, that’s not the way the universe works.”
“Don’t be so sure,” she said with an amused grin, pointing her fork at him before she stabbed a potato with it. Harry looked across the table at his father for support, but he just tried, and failed, to stifle a laugh.
“Well you don’t need to lose any more sleep worrying about me, Mum, Cho never tried to take advantage of your poor, weak, defenseless son,” Harry said mockingly. He went back to his food, hoping that that would end the conversation.
“Sirius was always worried about Cedric,” his father commented. Harry stared at him disbelievingly.
“Why are you bringing up Cedric? I hate him! Why do we have to talk about this?”
“He was three years older than Leilani,” he continued. “I would have been worried too.”
“Well it’s none of your business,” said Harry. “Besides, Cedric never took advantage of her, I would have heard about it.”
“Not necessarily,” his mother said. “Hermione might have.”
“Yes I would have, I’m her best friend!” Harry yelled, without meaning for his voice to become so loud. “You two are so obnoxious!”
“I’d fix that bad mood of yours if I were you, what with wanting to go to that party tomorrow night,” his father said quietly
The subject was dropped there, and Harry went bed that night feeling rather annoyed. His bad mood did not last long, however, because the thought of the party the next day and going with Leilani filled his mind, so much so that he was unable to fall asleep for a couple hours.
On Saturday, Harry woke up with butterflies in his stomach. It bothered him that he felt so nervous and excited about seeing Leilani again. He had known her for nearly sixteen years, she had always been so close to him, so easy to talk to, so familiar, but now... Now that Harry suddenly felt attracted to her, he didn’t know how he was going to act. He never made a conscious effort to notice how he acted around her until now. He had spent the last two weeks without her but thinking about her constantly, which made matters much worse.
Leilani arrived in the Potters’ fireplace at seven thirty, like they had scheduled. She gave Harry a hug and a big smile to greet him. She had done this so many times before, but this time the hug felt so nice and the smile was so unusually pretty. It seemed like she was more happy to see him than usual, but Harry thought he was probably imagining it out of hopefulness. Despite his anxieties, Harry found that he was able to talk to her normally, although he did worry that Leilani would think he was trying to flirt with her, as everyone else had apparently been thinking for months. Leilani acted like everything was completely normal though, so his worrying was quite unnecessary.
The ride to Angelina’s took less then five minutes, thanks to the magical devices of the Potters’ car.
“When is the party over?” asked Harry’s father.
“I don’t know,” answered Harry.
“Probably one or so,” said Leilani. “But don’t stay up worrying, we can floo back.”
“Angelina’s parents will be there, right?”
“I don’t know, but we’re not kids anymore, Dad.”
“Actually, Harry, I thought Angelina said they’ll be there. Maybe in the other room, but at least in the house I think,” said Leilani convincingly. But as she spoke, she gave Harry a meaningful look to signal that she was making it all up. He gave her a grin and a nod.
“All right. Have fun, kids. Don’t eat anything funny looking.”
“Thanks for the ride, James.”
“Bye, Dad,” said Harry, somewhat impatiently, and he quickly got out of the car and walked with Leilani to the front door.
“All parties are chaperoned, Harry,” said Leilani, glancing back at Harry’s father driving away. “Or else your parents don’t let you go to them.”
“Good thing you’re the one who told him though, you’re a much better liar than me,” Harry grinned.
“I know,” Leilani laughed.
“So... Did you know my mother was afraid Cho was going to take advantage of me?”
She stopped laughing.
“I think your mum’s been exchanging ideas with my dad,” Leilani said, as rang the doorbell.
“Yeah,” said Harry. “So how have you been? After... everything.”
“Better. A lot better actually, I’ve been talking a lot with my mum about it all,” she answered. “Listen, Harry, let’s not talk about He-And-She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named tonight. I want to enjoy myself.”
“Yeah, sure, I just...” Harry’s words trailed off, feeling very stupid for bringing up the subject.
At that moment, Angelina answered the door.
“Hey you two!” she said happily, beckoning them in. “Everyone’s in the living room, Ron and Hermione included. Diggory not included, I made sure not to invite him, no Gryffindors would want to see him here thanks to you two.”
“Thanks,” said Leilani and Harry at the same time.
“No problem. I never really knew Cho very well, so not inviting her wasn’t an issue,” she said to Harry. He nodded. “Help yourself to as much food and drinks as you can handle. We want to get rid of it all before my parents get back on Monday.”
“Told you it’s chaperoned, Harry,” Leilani smiled.
“Erm, no it’s not,” said Angelina.
“I know,” said Leilani. They arrived in the dimly lit living room, in which upbeat music was playing. There were many people from school there, lots of Gryffindors, plus people from other houses who had graduated along with Angelina, and even some who had graduated the year before. Harry spotted Ron and Hermione near the refreshments, so he and Leilani headed over to meet them.
“Hey Harry, hi Leilani,” Ron said loudly, to be heard over the music. He held up a cup to show Harry. The cup was clear and the drink inside was reddish brown. “They have firewhiskey, you should try it.”
Hermione, who was holding a cup of what was clearly butterbeer, narrowed her eyes and was obviously trying not to scold him.
“Eww, Ron,” said Leilani, and she reached for a butterbeer with one hand and a couple pieces of cheese with the other. Harry, on the other hand, went for the firewhiskey. He didn’t like the taste much at first, but he pretended he did and held on to his cup as the four of them headed over to an empty couch. Leilani sat between Harry and Hermione, with Ron on the other side of Hermione. The couch was fairly small, so Leilani was awfully close to Harry. As he sat there, taking another drink of the firewhiskey, he realized he was far too pleased about this fact. Leilani didn’t seem to think anything of it though. She was watching the people in the room who were standing around and talking. She said something to Hermione that Harry couldn’t hear, so he leaned over to listen to them.
“Nobody wants to be the first to start dancing,” shouted Hermione over the music, which was louder where they were sitting.
“We do!” Leilani shouted back.
“No we don’t!” Hermione disagreed.
“Harry!” Leilani turned to him and looked at him expectantly with a big smile on her face. “Dance with me!”
Harry’s first instinct was to refuse flat out, but his second was to accept and try out his best moves in hopes of impressing her. But then Harry realized he had no good moves.
“Please? I’ll let you have my last piece of cheese.” She held it up for him to see and raised her eyebrows at him, trying to act as if she thought this might really convince him.
“It’s mozzarella...” Harry laughed, but refused again.
“No, I don’t dance!” Leilani shook her head at him and turned to Ron.
“Where’s Ginny? She’ll dance with me.”
“Ginny didn’t come, Mum wouldn’t let her,” Ron informed her. Leilani growled. Harry grinned, somehow finding it cute. Within seconds though, he realized what he was doing and thinking. He stopped grinning, looked away from her, and took another drink.
After an hour or so of talking and laughing with his three friends, Harry saw Leilani point in front of her. Ron’s twin brothers, Fred and George, were dancing with Angelina, Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet, along with another boy Harry didn’t know. He saw Lavender and Parvati heading towards the group. Fred, George, and Angelina all had their wands in hand, and were setting off sparks to decorate the ceiling as they danced.
“Come on, Hermione!” Leilani jumped out of her seat, with Hermione soon following. “Harry, Ron, dance with us!”
“No,” said Harry and Ron.
“Harry, come on!” Harry’s heart jumped as Leilani took a hold of one of his hands with both of hers to try to pull him up. As tempting as it was, he was determined not to make a fool of himself, so he forced himself to wrench his hand out of hers. Leilani playfully glared at Harry and turned her back on him. She and Hermione were soon part of the growing group of dancers. Ron moved over a little to sit next to Harry.
“You want another?” he asked, holding up his empty cup.
Ron soon returned with more drinks, as well as Dean Thomas and Seamus, who gave him a wink and a nudge after telling him to go join the dancing.
“Oh, shut up,” Harry said, giving Seamus a push towards the other end of the couch.
They sat there talking for what seemed like a long time while Leilani and Hermione danced, with Ron going back to get them more drinks and food every once in awhile. After the firewhiskeys, Harry felt a bit too lightheaded to intelligently contribute to the conversation that Ron, Dean, and Seamus were having. Of course, the conversation they were having wasn’t exactly an intelligent one. But Harry was too preoccupied with thinking about Leilani. He spent half the time sneaking looks at her and wishing that he wasn’t so self conscious about his dance skills, especially since she really seemed to want him to join her. He was very pleased about one thing though, and that was that Leilani was dancing only with Hermione and no boys.
At one point, Leilani caught him watching her, and actually stopped moving for a few seconds. She had a curious look on her face at first, but she soon grinned and then made a silly face at him before she started dancing with Hermione again. Harry didn’t think fast enough to do anything, whether it was to look away or grin back at her, so he became strangely paranoid that Leilani had figured him out. Soon after this, the girls came back to take a break. Hermione sat on the arm of the overcrowded couch next to Harry. Seeing that there was nowhere else to sit, Leilani sat on Harry’s knees and leaned on the arm of the couch.
“Having fun, Harry?” Leilani asked loudly, panting a little from dancing for so long.
“Uh huh,” said Harry a little more nervously than he would have liked. He suddenly found that he didn’t know where to put his hands. A crazy voice in his head, that sounded like it had had a bit too much to drink, told him to put them somewhere on Leilani. Her shoulder or her legs would be a good place. Or he could just run his fingers through her hair, or maybe... No! A slightly less crazy voice told him to put his hand on his cup and take a drink instead.
“How many have you had?” Leilani asked.
“A few,” said Harry, putting down the cup immediately in case she disapproved. Hermione, Harry noticed, was looking suspiciously at Ron, who was laughing very loudly and uncontrollably at something Seamus had said. Harry noticed that the dancing was slowing down and a good amount of people had already left, or were talking outside on the back porch. Angelina seemed to notice this too. She turned the music down a little bit with a flick of her wand, and after going around and talking to other crowds of people, she eventually came over to the group on the couch.
“Come on you guys, we’re going to play a game!”
May 29th, 2005, 8:16 am
“What game?” asked Hermione suspiciously.
“Spin the Bottle!” answered Angelina. Leilani and Hermione groaned, but Seamus laughed loudly and leaned behind Dean and a giggling Ron to punch Harry in the shoulder. Leilani looked curiously at him as he irritably pushed Seamus’ fist away, but Harry wouldn’t meet her eyes, so she turned her head to face Angelina.
“So, are we in third year again, Angelina, or is this party just getting really boring?” asked Leilani. The only time she had ever witnessed the game was at Parvati and Padma Patil’s thirteenth birthday party; she and Hermione had been forbidden from playing after faking coughing fits.
“Oh, don’t be a spoilsport, Leilani. Come on, it’ll be fun!”
“I doubt it,” said Hermione.
“I’ll play!” announced Ron loudly, throwing his arms in the air as he leapt off the couch. Seamus and Dean stood up with him. “Come on, Hermione! Play with me!”
“Leilani! Hermione! Harry! Please?” Angelina took a hold of Leilani’s arm and pulled her off Harry’s knees.
“Angelina!” whined Leilani.
“Come on, I’ll get Harry to play if you will,” said Angelina, only loudly enough for Leilani to hear. She gave her a meaningful grin. Leilani just stared at her with her mouth open.
“What? What are you...” Leilani’s quiet words drifted away when she found Harry standing by her side.
“I’ll play if you play,” Harry told Leilani. Angelina smiled to herself and turned away to recruit more people. Then, after barely waiting a second, he said, “We have to suffer through this together, right?”
There was something slightly odd about Harry’s smile as he said this, but Leilani nodded.
“Fine. Only if Hermione plays.”
Leilani and Harry ended up literally dragging Hermione by both arms into the next room, which was a comfortable den with lots of big fluffy pillows on the floor.
“This is so stupid,” announced Hermione, as she sat down on a bright orange pillow between Leilani and Ron.
“I know,” said Leilani. “But like Harry said, we have to suffer together.”
“What if I get Fred or George?” hissed Hermione, eyeing them sitting across the room. “I don’t want to kiss Ron’s brothers! In fact, I don’t want to kiss most of these people.”
“Close your eyes and pretend it’s someone else. And make it quick.”
“It’s no big deal, Hermione, it’s just a game,” said Harry from Leilani’s other side.
“Yeah,” giggled Ron, patting Hermione on the shoulder after throwing aside his now empty cup. “No big deal. If you have to kiss me, no big deal.” Hermione turned slightly pink, while Leilani laughed at Ron. She then turned to Harry.
“I bet Angelina’s only doing this so she gets a chance of landing on Fred,” she whispered. “She’s always been annoyed that he didn’t ask her out after the Yule Ball.”
“Yeah,” laughed Harry. He didn’t say anything else. He was being unusually quiet.
“Is there something on your mind?” Leilani asked. “You seem a little... I don’t know...”
Harry, who looked slightly alarmed at her question, wasn’t able to answer, because at that moment, Angelina came in, an empty butterbeer bottle in hand. She started talking loudly to the group.
“Here’s the rules: Everyone spins at least once, and you have to kiss for no less than five full seconds.”
Hermione let out a quiet whimper.
“Make it quick, huh?” she whispered to Leilani.
“Sorry,” she whispered back with a shrug.
So the game began. Every time it was a boy’s turn to spin, Leilani silently started wishing that it would not land on her. Hermione was right, there was almost nobody in here she would voluntarily kiss. Leilani always got her wish, but the bottle landed on poor Hermione four times before her turn to spin. Leilani could tell she was trying her best not to look disgusted every time. Ron was only landed on once, by a girl from Angelina’s year who they didn’t know, and Harry, like Leilani, just sat there the whole time watching without participating. Judging from how quiet he was being compared to the rest of the noisy, excited group, he was even more bored than she was.
When the bottle finally came around to their corner of the room, Harry was the first to spin. It took Leilani a moment to register that the bottle had come to a stop pointing at her. Many people in the room started cheering, whistling, and making other annoying noises of approval. Shaking her head and rolling her eyes, she turned to look at Harry. He was still eyeing the bottle.
“Harry?” Leilani said. His eyes snapped quickly to hers. “Are you going to kiss me or what?”
Harry kept staring at her without saying or doing anything, so Leilani decided that she better be the one to start it and get it over with. Their lips touched uneventfully for five full seconds. When she backed away, Harry gave her a nervous grin. Although the room was fairly dark, up close Leilani could see a little pink in his cheeks. He looked away from her, but Leilani didn’t look away from him. A strange suspicion was starting to form in her head, the same suspicion that she had momentarily had, but pushed away, while she had been dancing.
“Leilani!” said Angelina from across the room. “It’s your turn.”
“Right.” She picked up the bottle and spun it fast. It stopped very suddenly, and she realized that it was pointing to Harry. The cheers were even louder than when Harry had spun, and this time they were accompanied by lots of laughter.
“Encore, encore!” yelled Fred from across the room. Leilani looked at him, and after he winked at her, she noticed that he was twirling his wand in his fingers.
“He’s rigging it...” she said very quietly, but only loud enough for her to hear because of the noise. Leilani wasn’t going to bother arguing though, so she decided to just get it over with again. Without waiting for the cheering to stop, she took Harry by the shoulder to turn him around and kissed him again. But this time, Harry put effort into it. Too much effort. Like the effort a boyfriend would make. Somehow, it went on for closer to ten seconds.
Leilani found it difficult to look at Harry for the rest of the night. She wasn’t forced to kiss anyone else, and Harry was only landed on one more time, by Parvati, but with her, his eyes stayed open and he seemed impatient and bored. She, Harry, Hermione, and Ron left the game once everyone had had a turn. They were all tired of it, especially Hermione, who had kissed two more people by that time. She ran off to the bathroom to wash off her mouth as soon as they left the room.
“Never again!” exclaimed Hermione hysterically as she came marching back from the bathroom. “I am never playing that game again! Six people! And they weren’t even...” Hermione failed to finish her sentence and just let out another annoyed noise.
“You didn’t kiss me, Hermione!” laughed Ron as he landed clumsily on the same couch they had been sitting on before.
“I noticed,” she said.
“So did I!” said Ron, in an unnecessarily loud voice.
“How many firewhiskeys have you had, Ron?” Hermione asked sharply
“Only as many as Harry!” he answered with a big goofy smile.
“Liar,” muttered Harry, as he sat down on the couch with his arms folded.
The four of them sat there again for quite awhile, not saying anything more, but listening to the loud voices from the other room and the quiet music that was still playing. Hermione was still annoyed about the turnout of the game, Ron had clearly had too much to drink, Harry was being oddly quiet, and Leilani was still thinking about the two kisses she had shared with him. Normally, she might have suggested that they all leave the party and go hang out at her house, but she didn’t think anyone, except possibly Ron, was in the mood. So instead, they sat doing and saying nothing for a half hour, tapping their feet to the music and listening to Ron’s occasional giggles.
Finally, Leilani couldn’t stand it anymore. She stood up and faced her friends.
“Are you guys ready to go home? I am.”
“I am too,” said Hermione. “I don’t know about Ron though, his mother would kill him... He told me he convinced her not to wait up for him, but I wouldn’t put it past him to accidentally wake her up as soon as he got home.”
“I wouldn’t put it past you either, Hermione, it’s not your fault that you’re a fabulous dancer!” Ron patted Hermione on the shoulder.
“Right, I’ll take him,” said Harry. “His mum won’t get as upset if we tell her he decided to sleep over at my place.”
“I’ll go to Hermione’s,” suggested Ron, clapping his hands together and trying lean on her.
“No you won’t,” said Harry, picking him up by the arm. Leilani made quick work of finding the fireplace and the floo powder.
“Bye Hermione,” said Leilani, with a hug. “You should come sleep over when you get back from Italy.”
“Yeah, definitely, I’ll send you and owl as soon as I get back,” said Hermione, nodding.
“You’re leaving, Leilani?” Ron, who was still leaning on Harry, looked very confused.
“Yes I am. I’ll see you later.”
“Oh... I get it.” Ron nodded and then looked over to Hermione. “Hi Hermione.”
Leilani turned to Harry. She wanted to make this goodbye as fast as possible.
“Bye Harry.” She gave him a one armed hug.
“Bye. See you.” Harry gave her a small grin.
Soon, Leilani was back in her own living room. Her father was asleep on the couch with a book lying on his chest. She shook him by the shoulder to wake him up.
“Lei...” he mumbled.
“Get to bed, Dad,” she said, as she tried to pull him off the couch. “Poor Mum, she sleeps alone for so many nights throughout the year, and this is what you do to her once you’re home.”
Leilani let go of him and walked down to her room. She shut the door and went over to look at herself in her wall length mirror. She stared at herself in the eyes in the light of the moon pouring through the window. She put one hand over her mouth, her mind still on the game. Whining quietly to herself, she promptly turned away from the mirror and fell on to her bed. Leilani curled into a ball and buried her head in her pillow.
Leilani’s eyes were closed, but all she could see was her best friend. His brilliant green eyes and the rectangular glasses with dark green frames that covered them, his constantly messy black hair, his thin face and frame, his lips... After what had happened at the party, she had a very strong suspicion that Harry was thinking of her as more than just his best friend. The way he had looked at her... And the way he had kissed her...
There was one thing that disturbed Leilani more than what Harry had done, however, and that was the undeniable fact that she had enjoyed it. Kissing her best friend had actually been a very nice experience, other than the fact that she was so bothered about it. And it hadn’t been his fault that it had lasted twice as long as it was supposed to; Leilani could have pulled away at any time, but she had chosen not to. She realized that maybe her strange desire to spend a lot of time with Harry lately was out of something in her that wanted more than just friendship. Had she developed romantic feelings for him without even realizing it? How could she have been so stupid not to realize what her own feelings meant?
Leilani moaned into her pillow and then punched it. It took her a very long time to get to sleep that night with so many confusing, aggravating, yet wonderful thoughts going through her head. When she finally did fall asleep that night, the only thing she dreamed about was Harry.
Yeah, we all saw that coming. :p
May 31st, 2005, 6:21 am
The next morning, Harry and his father dropped Ron off at his home, where they told his mother that he had decided to sleep over at the Potters’ because he and Harry were having such a good time together. This was the same explanation Harry’s parents got, and both them and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley seemed to believe it, although Ron’s mother was a little upset that she hadn’t known in advance.
When Harry got back home, he told his parents he was going to try to get a little bit more sleep. He left his parents, climbed the stairs up to his bedroom and closed his door, but he did not get under the covers on his bed again. Instead he sat on it, staring at the mirror sitting on his bedside table.
He felt like he should talk to Leilani after what had happened the night before. After they had kissed (twice!), Leilani had hardly said a word or smiled, and Harry had been worried ever since. Now that he was wide awake and all influence of strange drinks had passed through him, Harry didn’t know what he had been thinking the night before.
Did it just land on me? I get to kiss her again? Woah, she grabbed me! Would it hurt if I put a little effort into it? Nah. Oh yes... Yes... Yes... Yes, this is good. Who cares what happens after this, if I get to kiss her like this right now...
Who cares!? Harry certainly cared now, the morning after he did it. He wished he knew what Leilani had been thinking. Many possibilities had been floating around his head, the worst of which being that she realized he liked her and wouldn’t want to talk to him anymore because she was so disturbed about it. The best was that she liked him too and had felt awkward. He was slightly hopeful about this possibility. Leilani had grabbed his shoulder to move him over to kiss him, but she hadn’t let go and Harry could have sworn her grip on him had tightened... And had it been his imagination (or the firewhiskey), or had she waited longer than she was supposed to to pull away? If only she had waited so long that he was still kissing her now... Her lips had been even more kissable than he had imagined... Ooh... Ahh...
Harry realized he was staring at his carpet reliving the night before instead of making any move to try to solve things. No matter what Leilani was thinking, he had to make sure everything was going to be okay between them. Harry picked up the mirror, his heart beating very quickly.
“Leilani Black.” Soon, instead of his face, all Harry could see was a ceiling. “Leilani? Leilani!”
He heard a groan. The mirror tilted so that he could see Leilani’s arm stretching in front of her to hold it up, with her head lying on a pillow farther back. Her tangled hair was falling over her face and her eyes were barely open.
“It’s too early,” she mumbled, and the mirror fell so that all Harry could see was the ceiling again.
“What time is it, Harry?” she groaned.
“Erm, a quarter to noon I think,” answered Harry.
“Are you serious?” Leilani asked, picking up the mirror again. This time her hair was out of her face and her eyes were more widely open
“Well what is it?”
“Erm... how’d you like the party last night?” Harry asked.
“Oh,” said Leilani instead of answering right away. “It was... fine. Hermione and I had fun dancing. Did you have fun?”
“I guess. Ron was just giggling with Seamus and Dean the whole time though.”
“You got him back home okay, I guess?”
“That’s good. Well, I have to go take a shower, so I’ll talk to you-”
“Wait!” Harry interrupted.
“What?” Leilani asked impatiently.
“So, you know how we... er... during that game, we had to... kiss, and everything?” As soon as Harry was done saying this, he wondered if he could have said it any more awkwardly. There was silence for a few moments, while Leilani’s eyes moved from the mirror to her blanket.
“It was just two kisses, it wasn’t kissing and everything,” she said.
“You know what I meant.”
“What about it?”
Harry realized he had not adequately prepared himself for this conversation.
“How weird was that? When we both got each other?”
“How weird was it when you got in to it?” Leilani responded, looking back at Harry. He found himself unable to answer.
“You know Fred rigged it. I saw him.”
“Oh,” said Harry. “Well... I’m sorry if I did it wrong, I was tired and thinking funny. And, you know, I’ve never really drunk that stuff before so...”
“You were thinking funny?” Leilani raised her eyebrows at him.
“Yeah, like maybe that’s what you’re supposed to do in the game,” Harry answered quickly. “But obviously it’s not, after how you acted.”
“How I acted?” Leilani said in a higher than normal voice. “I didn’t act-”
“Yes you did! You wouldn’t look at me, you hardly talked to me-”
“Okay!” Leilani interrupted loudly. “I was just surprised.”
Harry couldn’t help detecting slight nervousness in her voice and in her eyes.
“But we’ll be okay, right?” he said. “Nothing’s changed? You’re my best friend, I don’t want things to get messed up between us because of some stupid game.”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Right,” said Leilani impatiently. “Everything’s fine. Don’t get so worried, Harry.”
“Good. That’s all I wanted to talk about.”
Harry sat there on his bed, thinking for a moment before he said anything else. In normal circumstances, what would Harry say at this moment?
“So, Leilani,” he said as casually as he could. “Now that we’ve settled that, you can tell me whether I’m a good kisser or not.”
“Harry!” Leilani shrieked, sounding quite outraged.
“Oh, come on, you know I only ever kissed Cho before yesterday, I need someone else to tell me if I’m any good. I want to know whether I should practice with my arm for my next girlfriend.”
Harry grinned at her. Leilani rolled her eyes and looked annoyed.
“You were fine.”
“If it hadn’t been so weird, it probably would have been... good, I guess.”
Harry had a hard time stopping himself from smiling.
“Bye, Harry,” said Leilani shortly. “I need to shower.”
Leilani’s ceiling appeared again, and soon after that all he could see was his own face. Harry put down the mirror and bounced excitedly on his bed in triumph. He knew that Leilani was an outstanding liar when she wanted to be, and she could have easily lied just then, but she hadn’t for some reason. Was it because deep down, she wanted to give him a clue about her secret feelings for him? Yes! Harry bounced again and let out a high pitched giggle that he was glad nobody was there to witness.
No! Harry stopped smiling. What if Leilani had been lying to make him feel better, and she had really thought he was a terrible kisser? But then again, she was never one to hesitate in pointing out Harry’s faults, especially when she was frustrated with him. She had obviously been frustrated with him, so Harry decided she had been telling the truth. He smiled again. He didn’t have solid evidence that Leilani returned his feelings, but a definite, and maybe even likely possibility now existed.
Harry jumped up off his bed and hopped down the stairs to the kitchen, where his mother was making some sandwiches for lunch.
“That was a short nap,” she commented.
“Yep, I only needed a few minutes,” grinned Harry, as he sat at the kitchen table.
“What are you so happy about?”
“I think he must be over Cho finally if he’s happy about life again,” she said to herself.
“No, I’m still really upset about her,” he smiled. His mother looked at him strangely and then laughed. She brought the plate of sandwiches to the table and sat down across from Harry.
“Listen, Harry, I want you to pick up a couple things at the store for me on Monday while your father and I are at work.”
“Do I have to?”
“Yes, I don’t want you cooped inside all summer,” she said. “And while you’re out, look for a birthday present for Leilani, won’t you? I don’t know what we should get her this year. Sixteen is an important age.”
“Just as important as fifteen,” Harry responded, taking one of the sandwiches. After taking a bite, he continued. “Just get her chocolate and a t-shirt if we find anything that says something funny on it. Oh, and she developed this strange love of weird socks this year.”
“I still want you to look.”
Harry didn’t say anything about it, but his mother had given him an idea. He thought that maybe this year, he should get something special for Leilani, just from him. Every year on hers and Harry’s birthday, the thirty first of July, the Potters got a joint gift for Leilani, and the Blacks for him. But this year was different.
By the time he left the next morning to go to the local shopping center, Harry had decided that he definitely would get her something just from him. He had convinced himself that the plan was foolproof. If Leilani had any romantic feelings for him, they would only be intensified when she saw what a sweet and thoughtful potential boyfriend he was. And if she didn’t... If she didn’t, Harry’s gift would show what a sweet and thoughtful friend he was, and furthermore, that he was old enough to get something on his own.
After searching the whole shopping center for the perfect gift, Harry had just about given up. That is, until he saw a small shop that he had often overlooked. It was a jewelry store, and a sign in the window said it made custom items. Harry put down the bag of his mother’s groceries and looked in the window at the display pieces. When his eyes fell upon one of the necklaces, his mind was made up. Picking up the groceries again, he opened the door and went inside, and approached the young woman behind the counter.
“How much would this one cost?” Harry asked, and he pointed to the necklace he wanted.
“How many letters?” the woman inquired. He thought for a moment.
“And do you want it in silver, like the display piece?”
“Yes,” he confirmed. She told him the price, which was higher than what he was expecting. “I’ll come back.”
Harry walked back home, deciding on the way that he would take some of his own money, what was left over from what his mother had given him for the groceries, and ask his father for the rest. He was much less experienced in muggle money than his wife, so whenever he needed a large amount, Harry went to him.
On Tuesday, Harry went back to the store and put in his order for the custom item, and in a few hours, he came back and paid for it. It was perfect. He hid the gift in one of his drawers when he got back home, so that his parents would not find it. He thought that not only might they get suspicious if they saw the necklace, but they would probably want it to be Leilani’s joint gift, which would defeat the whole purpose of getting it for her. Harry went to bed that night being very pleased with himself, and hoping that the next two weeks would pass as quickly as possible.
June 2nd, 2005, 5:53 am
It was a warm Tuesday night, a few days after Angelina’s party, and Leilani had been trying to read a book without any success for nearly an hour. She was nearing the end after reading most of it over the weekend, and she was getting a strong feeling that the female protagonist was going to end up marrying the male character with whom she had been good friends since childhood. Thinking about this concept was far too distracting.
Leilani put the book down and left her room. She was glad to see her father alone in the living room reading, since she was hoping to talk to her mother without him listening. When she arrived in her parents’ bedroom, she found her mother also reading.
“Our house has turned into a library,” said Leilani to announce her presence. Her mother looked up and smiled.
“You should invite Hermione over.”
“I would if she wasn’t in Italy.” Leilani closed the door and went over to sit next to her mother on the bed. “Why aren’t you out there with Dad?”
“I was, but whatever he’s reading is apparently hilarious, so...”
“Ah, yes, I understand.”
“Did you want to talk about something, Leilani?” her mother asked.
It took her a few minutes to say anything.
“How long were you friends with Dad before you started dating?” asked Leilani.
“Oh. Well, we weren’t, really.”
“Not even for two days or something?”
“Nope. He could hardly get a word out whenever we happened to be put in a situation where we might talk to each other.”
“You’re serious, Mum?” laughed Leilani. “Dad, at a loss for words?”
“Keep in mind that it turned out he had been madly in love with me for the past year. The first time he got a full sentence out was in my sixth year- his seventh- when he asked me if I wanted to go on a date with him in Hogsmeade. I was actually shocked, since he never talked to me. He was a loudmouth most of the time so I thought he just didn’t like me.”
“But you accepted.”
“Of course! Most girls at Hogwarts would have killed for a date with Sirius Black, I’d never hear the end of it if I refused!”
“Most of the girls at Hogwarts would still kill for a date with him,” commented Leilani disgustedly. “You have no idea how nauseating it is to listen to them.”
“I’m sorry, dear,” Leilani’s mother said with a laugh. “Why are you asking me about this anyway? Boy issues again?”
“Maybe,” she answered quietly.
“Are you wondering if you were friends with Cedric long enough before you dated him?”
Leilani didn’t answer. Her mother sighed and put one arm around her.
“Don’t blame yourself for what happened, it was probably bound to turn out like this no matter what. Nothing can change what happened now. You have to leave it behind you, Leilani, some things just aren’t meant to be.”
“And some things are?”
“I believe so.”
“Yeah, well that’s nice and all, but how do you know if it’s meant to be?”
“Well... I suppose if it’s meant to be it’ll just happen no matter what, no matter how anyone tries to stop it.”
“So if I try to stop something and it happens anyway...”
“Of course, you might really stop it and then you’ll end up with something wrong,” her mother pointed out with a frown.
“This is confusing,” said Leilani.
“Yes it is. And possibly nonsense.”
“Probably nonsense. Have I ever mentioned how glad I always am when Dad tells us Dumbledore still hasn’t found an adequate Divination professor?”
“It’s all so uncertain. Like this confusing meant to be stuff,” said Leilani.
“It really is,” her mother agreed. “But the point is, you don’t need to worry about Cedric anymore, it’s not the end of the world.”
“I know. But he’s not entirely what this is about.”
“New boy? Or are we not talking about boys?”
“Erm... Well, I still think about Cedric all the time,” Leilani began, not entirely telling the truth. “But, yeah, new boy. I think. Maybe.”
“Are you going to tell me who?”
“Of course not.”
“Of course not. Is there a problem? Does he not like you back? Because I could talk some sense in to this idiot if that’s the case.”
“No, if I asked him out he’d probably say yes. It’s just... I don’t know if I should. I’m afraid of what’ll happen if it doesn’t work, because... we’re kind of friends now.”
“Ahh, I see...”
“I mean, we’re not super close or anything,” Leilani added quickly, to make sure her mother wouldn’t think she was talking about Harry. “But I still value his friendship and it would be terrible if that got ruined.”
“Yes, I understand.” They both sat there quietly for a few minutes before Leilani’s mother spoke again. “Well, I’m afraid I can’t tell you what to do, especially if you aren’t going to tell me who it is. You’ll have to work it out yourself.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Go with what your heart tells you.”
Leilani nodded. She suddenly found herself wanting to take back telling her mother that she was interested in someone else. As confident as she was in her lying skills, she was still paranoid that her mother would figure out that it was Harry she was talking about, and if he was told by his wife what was going on, that her father would figure it out as well. In such a short time, Leilani’s feelings for Harry had already surpassed those that she had had for any other boy, and she did not want anyone to know it.
“My heart is still with Cedric, though,” she said. Her mother sighed.
“Go for the new boy, Leilani.”
“Nah. Goodnight, Mum. I love you.”
“I love you too,” she said. “Talk to Hermione too when she gets back, will you? I hate seeing you upset like this.”
“I’m planning on it,” Leilani nodded, and she left to go back to her room.
The next week and a half before Hermione came home seemed to last forever. She spent most days with her father, since he didn’t work over the summer. Her most eventful day in this never-ending week and a half was when he took Leilani to London for the day to have a change of scenery. They went to lunch, made a short trip to Diagon Alley, and her father decided to take Leilani on a random trip on the Underground since she had never been on it before. While her father was using the restroom, Leilani went into a muggle souvenir shop and found a little something that amused her, so she decided to buy it, without telling her father about it. Part of her wanted to keep it for herself, but she thought she’d give it to Harry as an extra birthday present, just as a little reassurance that everything was going to be okay between them like she had told him.
Leilani thought she would probably need to give him that reassurance, since at the moment, she was making no effort to assure Harry of anything. Part of her really wanted to talk to him or take him up on that sandwich shop offer, but the other part of her didn’t know how she was going to act when she next saw him, so she was delaying the moment as long as possible. Of course, Harry wasn’t putting forth any effort either, except for one owl he sent her, saying that his parents wanted to do their birthday dinner at his house.
When Hermione got back from Italy, five days before her birthday, Leilani invited her to sleep over as soon as she was allowed to. She was dying to talk to her about the whole situation with Harry, so she was thrilled when Hermione sent an owl back saying that she would come over the next day. Leilani was incredibly happy to see her on Friday when she arrived, and not only because she had brought her special foreign chocolate and some socks with the Italian flag on them.
After dinner, Hermione and Leilani shut themselves in her room, where Hermione told her all about her trip. When she started slowing down, Leilani decided to ask if she had remembered to learn any Italian phrases.
“You told me you’d learn some for me, remember?” she said, looking at Hermione laying on the extra bed, while Leilani laid on her own. They had both been in their pajamas for hours.
“Yes, I remember. I learned some good ones, let me think.” Hermione bit her lip and stared at the ceiling. An amused grin appeared on her face. “Oh, you’ll like this one. Io non sono formaggio!”
“What does that mean?” Leilani asked.
“I am not cheese,” answered Hermione. They both burst into giggles.
“I am definitely remembering that one. Formaggio means cheese then?”
“So enough about me and my formaggio Italiano,” she said. “How have you been?”
“I’ve been okay.” Leilani leaned over to turn off her lamp, and then turned on her side to look over at Hermione in the dark. “But there’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about.”
“Well I’m right here.”
“I think...” Leilani hesitated for a moment. “There’s someone who I think might... like me. I mean, like me like me.
“Ah, boy talk time,” laughed Hermione. “But you know you’re completely ignorant. There are plenty of someones who like you.”
“I am not ignorant, I know that,” she said irritatedly. “But this isn’t like that, I don’t care about any of them, and they don’t really care about me.”
“And how do you know this person does care about you?” Hermione asked. Leilani took a minute to answer.
“Because it’s Harry.”
There was silence from Hermione.
“Are you asleep?”
“No. Are you sure about that though? I mean, it seems like he’s been flirting with you for years, but-”
“He has not been flirting with me for years!”
“As I was going to say before you interrupted me-”
“-I know both of you so well that I always thought it was innocent on his part, but for someone who doesn’t know you two like I do, it would look like flirting a lot of the time. Anyway, I asked if you were sure.”
“Not a hundred percent sure,” admitted Leilani. “But when we played that game-”
“Oh don’t remind me.”
“Sorry,” laughed Leilani. “It’s just that the second time we kissed he got really into it.”
“And he was watching me dancing.”
“And he was blushing after the first time.”
“Do you have feelings for him too?”
“No,” Leilani lied. She was almost surprised at her answer; she had never really decided whether she was going to tell Hermione the truth until that moment. “Harry’s only like a brother to me, you know that.”
“Then don’t do anything that will lead him on,” Hermione said. “Because if he does fancy you, you don’t want him trying to make a move, because you’ll just have to reject him and things will get awkward.”
“I know,” sighed Leilani. “I just wonder if I was leading him on in the first place. Why would he start liking me in the first place?”
“Because he’s loved you ever since he could walk, and he probably only just realized you’re gorgeous on top of everything else because you both are suddenly available.”
Leilani had to stop herself from saying, ”I’ve loved him since I could walk too, and only just realized how cute it is that his hair is always such a mess. And might I add how gorgeous those green eyes are? Oh, and when he smiles-”
“It’s almost too bad you don’t like him back,” said Hermione, interrupting Leilani’s thoughts. “You’d make a cute couple.”
“Whatever you say, Hermione,” said Leilani, although she secretly agreed with her.
“You haven’t asked him about it, have you?”
“No. I haven’t talked to him since the fourteenth,” Leilani told her. “We talked through our mirrors because he wanted to make sure we were still okay after kissing and all.”
“What did you tell him?” asked Hermione
“That everything was fine.”
“Just fine, and nothing more? Well good.” Hermione sounded relieved.
“Erm,” Leilani said guiltily.
“He asked me if he was any good. At kissing.”
“Well was he?”
“Yeah, it was weird, and completely meaningless of course, but I can’t deny he was good.”
“But what did you tell him?” Hermione asked worriedly.
“I told him the truth,” Leilani answered in a small voice.
“Why, Leilani? You are the most brilliant fibber I know! He’s going to get ideas now!”
And would that be such a bad thing? Leilani thought.
“That would be mean though!” Leilani insisted, instead of saying what she was actually thinking. “To tell him he’s a bad kisser when he’s not.”
“You’re leading him on.”
“I am not!”
“And going to the Yule Ball and writing ten foot letters every week wasn’t leading Viktor on? He asked you to be his long distance girlfriend just because he liked watching you in the library? You’re one to talk, Hermione.”
“They were never ten feet! And besides, that’s completely different!”
“You’re right, you’re worse.”
“Well this isn’t about me and Viktor, this is about you and Harry. You have something more valuable to risk than I did, so you can’t lead him on in any way.”
“I know,” muttered Leilani. She was starting to wonder what the point of telling Hermione had been if she wasn’t even going to tell her the whole truth. All she was doing was giving her useless advice based on Leilani’s lie. Their conversation just left her feeling even more conflicted about what she should do than before.
“Leilani?” Hermione said with a yawn, after a very long silence.
“If you ever decide you actually do want to go out with Harry, I approve.”
“And if you ever build up the nerve to ask out-”
“Oh be quiet!”
“Goodnight, Hermione,” giggled Leilani.
June 6th, 2005, 12:22 am
The day before his birthday, Harry went to Ron’s house to play some Quidditch. Fred, George, Ginny, and Charlie, who was visiting for the week, all played with them over a nearby field. After lots of argument from Charlie, Harry let him be the Seeker, so he played as Chaser for once along with Ginny. After playing almost nonstop for a couple hours, they all decided to go back to the Weasley house to get some drinks to cool themselves down.
“You wouldn’t make a bad Chaser, Harry,” commented Ron as the group started their walk.
“Thanks,” grinned Harry. “Neither would Ginny. You’re trying out this year, aren’t you?”
“Yep,” she answered. “Mum and Dad are going to get Ron and I new broomsticks this year if I get on.”
“Yes, I only get one if Ginny gets on the team,” Ron said bitterly.
“That makes no sense,” frowned Harry.
“What do my parents do that makes any sense?”
“You know, Harry, that’s really the only reason he invited you over,” said George. “He wants Ginny to get as much practice as possible for selfish purposes.”
“Very funny,” said Ron.
“Say, Harry,” said Charlie, squeezing in from the back between Harry and Ginny. “How’s Leilani doing? I haven’t seen her for years.”
Harry noticed Fred and George trying not to laugh, but he looked away from them and back at Charlie.
“Okay, as far as I know. I haven’t talked to her in a couple weeks.”
Fred was not able to hold in his laughter anymore.
“What’s so funny?” asked Ginny curiously. Harry thought he knew; he hadn’t forgotten what Leilani had told him about Fred rigging the game at Angelina’s party.
“She’s only okay, Harry?” Fred winked at Harry, who rolled his eyes at him. Ron looked confused.
“Is there something I should know?” asked Charlie.
“Harry kissed her,” George announced.
“It was a game, I didn’t just kiss her!”
“Harry and Leilani kissed!?” Ron exclaimed. Harry couldn’t help laughing with Fred and George.
“Our little brother had his first experience with firewhiskey the other week, Charlie, aren’t you proud?” George looked at Ron with the eyes of an admiring parent.
“How much did you have, Ron?” asked Charlie worriedly.
“Not that much!” Ron insisted. “I remember the game, just not that. You really kissed?”
“Twice!” Fred announced happily.
“Twice?” Ginny repeated with wide eyes.
“You were rigging the game though, Leilani saw you.”
“Ah yes, I confess,” said Fred, looking fakely ashamed of himself. “But Harry, aren’t you going to thank us? We reserved her only for you.”
“No I’m not!”
“Don’t try to tell us you didn’t like it,” grinned George. Harry shook his head at him, trying to look as outraged as possible.
“Your brothers are idiots, Ron,” he said loudly, as he grabbed Ron by the arm and pulled him forward so they wouldn’t have to walk with Fred and George any more.
“You really kissed her?” Ron asked.
“How was it?”
Harry decided he needed to get away from this subject.
“How was it when you kissed Hermione?”
“I kissed Hermione!?”
Harry was laughing too hard to tell Ron he was joking for quite awhile, and thankfully by that time he had apparently forgotten all about Leilani. They arrived back at the Weasley home before long, and shortly after enjoying the lemonades that Mrs. Weasley made for them all, Harry took the fireplace back home. He spent all evening thinking about the next day, when Sirius, Adriana, and Leilani were coming over for dinner. He was finally going to get to see her again... Two and a half weeks had never felt so long...
Harry woke up on July thirty-first with one thought in his head:
What was I thinking?
He wasn’t even completely sure if Leilani liked him back, and he was going to give her jewelry for her birthday? Even if she did like him, this was sure to scare her away. He might as well have bought her an engagement ring!
Calm yourself, Harry!
Everything was going to be fine... just fine...
It’s foolproof, remember?
Harry dragged himself out of bed and went down to the kitchen, still in his pajamas. Both his parents were there; his father was at the table reading the Daily Prophet, and his mother was making breakfast. When Harry entered the room, his mother left her cooking and hurried up to him.
“It’s my birthday boy!” she exclaimed, wrapping him in a big hug.
“Mum!” Harry yelled, trying to squirm out of her grip, yet laughing at the same time. “Get a grip, it’s just my birthday!”
“But it’s your sixteenth! Sixteen is such a great age.” She grinned at him as she let go of him. “Happy birthday, Harry.”
“Thanks,” he laughed. Harry’s father wished him a happy birthday too, and soon after they all had breakfast together, during which they talked about that evening’s dinner with the Blacks.
“So I talked with Sirius yesterday,” his father said. “And he said they’ll arrive at around five or so. We can eat at five-thirty, and then we’ll do presents and dessert. Sound good?”
“Sounds fine,” shrugged Harry. “What’s for dessert?”
“I don’t know, Sirius said he’s going to make something.”
“It’ll have chocolate in it if Leilani’s got anything to do with it,” commented Harry.
“It’ll be good to see Leilani,” Harry’s mother said. “I didn’t get much chance to talk to her before your party a couple weeks ago. She was looking awfully pretty though, wasn’t she?”
Harry simply stared at her and said nothing. He went back to his eggs.
“Don’t you think so Harry?”
“Sure,” he muttered. Then, in fear that his parents would figure him out, he prepared himself to make up a good lie. “People say she’s one of the prettiest girls in Hogwarts, but she’s just the same old Leilani Black to me.”
“I don’t blame them for saying it,” she said. “You really don’t see it, Harry?”
“Still, Lily,” his father said. “I’ve been thinking... Maybe this Christmas we should give them separate rooms. Raging hormones, you know.”
Harry felt his stomach jump, but out of delight rather than nervousness. Every winter since he could remember, the Blacks and Potters had spent the holidays together and Leilani and Harry had always shared a room. Some marvelously exciting ideas that both of their parents would be sure to hate started popping into his head. Harry realized that he really had to play up his supposed disinterest in Leilani if things were going to stay the same this year.
“Don’t be stupid, Dad! Kissing her would be like kissing my sister, it’s never going to happen. I’d sooner become best friends with Cedric Diggory than take out my raging hormones on Leilani.”
“Okay, okay,” his father laughed. “Don’t get so offended.”
Before he knew it, it was five o’clock, the doorbell was ringing, and Harry’s heart was pounding in his chest. He lagged a bit behind his parents as they went to the door, begging himself on the way not to do anything stupid that night. Luckily, he was at least able to greet her without doing anything stupid.
“Hi Leilani,” grinned Harry. “Happy birthday.”
“Happy birthday to you too. But you know you technically aren’t going to be sixteen for another six hours or so. I’m older than you.”
“Oh, and you’ve been sixteen for what, five hours? Very impressive.”
“Yep,” she nodded with a smile. “You’re just a baby. I’m a mature woman.”
“HARRY, LEILANI, WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?” shouted Sirius’ voice from the living room. Harry realized they had been left alone in the front hall. Leilani took the lead in leaving the hall to join their parents.
Dinner went very smoothly that evening. Harry found that having both their parents there was a great motivation for him to act as normally as possible around Leilani. For the most part, she acted no different than usual as well. However, there was one thing she was doing that pleased Harry immensely. Occasionally when he would glance at her across the table, he would see her looking at him, but she would immediately move her eyes away and look just slightly uncomfortable. Harry, who was completely aware of how much he did this same thing with her, and Cho in the past, had a hard time not smiling whenever this happened. She had to be interested in him if she was doing the Oh no he’s caught me staring at him look! Maybe his gift wasn’t such a bad idea after all...
After dinner, they went to the living room for presents and dessert. Harry was very pleased when he saw what the Blacks had given him, a book about the one hundred greatest moments in Quidditch since the game had began. Leilani, who was sitting with him on a small couch, had to take it away from him so he would stop looking through it while she opened her gift. Her gift from the Potters, which Harry had gone to get with his mother the last weekend, was four different pairs of strange socks, one of which simply had the words “I Love Chocolate” written on them (“YES!” said Leilani), and a little gift basket with some fancy bath products that Harry’s mother had picked out. He had thought this gift would be really boring, but Leilani said the scent she chose was really nice, so he guessed it wasn’t that boring after all.
Once they had finished desert, the inevitable happened: their parents started telling old stories about Harry and Leilani.
“Oh!” Sirius exclaimed excitedly. “Do you remember when we left them alone in the bath at our house when they were five?”
Harry and Leilani both covered their faces with one hand and groaned quietly
“Ana and I had only left for two minutes,” he continued, “And when we came back, Lei had her whole body over Harry’s head in an attempt to drown him, but he had managed to grow gills!”
All of their parents laughed uproariously.
“How is that funny?” Leilani leaned over and whispered in Harry’s ear.
“You trying to kill me? I don’t know,” shrugged Harry. Leilani grinned at him and then went back to watching her parents tell the story.
“And it turned out,” said Adriana, still laughing, “That Harry had just gotten back in the bath from attempting to flush all of Leilani’s bath toys down the toilet!”
“Have you noticed what we’re always wearing in Dad’s favorite stories?” Leilani asked quietly, while their parents continued laughing loudly.
“Mmm hmm,” nodded Harry.
“My father, I swear...” Leilani said, shaking her head.
As his mother launched into a story involving some disaster in the kitchen that their children had conjured when they were nine years old, Harry started wondering when he was going to get a chance to give his gift to Leilani. It was sitting there in his pocket, just waiting to be opened, but there was no way he was going to give it to her with their parents watching.
“Harry,” Leilani whispered, leaning over again while their parents were laughing once again. “Do you want to go for a walk or something? These stories are getting old.”
Harry nodded vigorously, wondering if Leilani had somehow gained the power to read minds.
Or maybe she wants to be alone with me so she can seduce me!
They both stood up.
“Do you mind if we go for a quick walk?” Leilani asked when the adults all looked up at them curiously. “We want to get some air.”
“Sure,” answered Sirius. “But don’t be too long.”
Harry and Leilani left the living room, put on their shoes, and went out the front door.
June 9th, 2005, 2:06 am
“If we had been forced to listen to one more story, I might have exploded,” announced Leilani, as she and Harry strolled along the sidewalk. She decided not to vocalize the other reason she had suggested that they go for a walk, which was simply a desire to spend some time alone with him.
“I know, me too,” he laughed. “At least we escaped before the mattress vaulting thing came up. I swear, every time your dad tells that story, he’s convinced we’ve never heard it before.”
“And you’ve only heard it half as many times as I have.”
Their laughter faded away as they walked along, both of them gazing at the sky, which was slowly turning from orange and pink to purple from the sun setting.
“Harry?” Leilani said.
“Do you think we’ve ever gone two and a half weeks without seeing each other? I mean, before now.”
“I doubt it.”
“It seems strange.”
Out of the corner of her eye Leilani saw Harry look down from the sky and at her. She intentionally didn’t meet his eyes, keeping hers on the sunset.
“Yeah, it’s strange,” he agreed. Harry stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans. Leilani continued to look at the sky instead of him, but she could sense a certain amount of discomfort in his silence.
“It’s a nice night,” Leilani commented, to disrupt the quiet.
“Talk to me, Harry. What’re you being so quiet for?”
“No reason,” he shrugged. “I just, erm, I wanted...”
“Yes?” Leilani suddenly felt her heart beating far too quickly.
“I got you something else for your birthday, besides what my parents got.”
“You did?” Leilani smiled, her heart calming down. “I actually picked you up a little something too, it’s nothing special though. Why didn’t you give it to me earlier though?”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Oh, because it’s just a silly little thing. And you?”
“My parents don’t even know I got it. I saw it when I was out running errands for my mum, I thought you’d like it but... I didn’t want it to be a joint present when I was the one who found it and wanted you to have it. Does that make sense?”
“Makes sense to me.”
Harry stopped walking. Leilani followed suit and faced Harry, who pulled a small package out of his pocket. He handed it to her, and immediately stuck his hand back in his pocket. Leilani tore off the paper and took the lid off the small box.
Inside was a necklace with a delicate silver chain; attached to it was her name, in silver cursive lettering. She found herself gaping at it, unable to look away. Leilani felt her cheeks getting hot.
“Do you like it?”
Leilani looked up at him. He seemed nervous. Leilani thought that if she had needed any more evidence that Harry had feelings for her, here it was.
“Yes, I love it, thank you!”
“Oh good, I was worried for a second there,” Harry smiled.
“No, I love it, really. I just... I can’t believe you would... How much did this cost? I mean, you had to get it custom made, my name isn’t that common.”
“You’re not supposed to ask how much gifts cost.”
“Right, never mind,” Leilani said, looking back at the neckless. “It’s so nice, Harry. It was really sweet of you to go to so much effort.”
“It wasn’t that much effort,” he said, making it very obvious that he was lying. “Besides, it was worth it.”
“Oh yeah? How?” Leilani lifted her eyes back to his face, giving him a consciously flirtatious look that Hermione would have killed her for making.
“Well you’re happy, aren’t you?”
Leilani nodded, and took the neckless out of the box and handed it to Harry.
“Help me put it on?” Leilani lifted her hair away from her neck and he put it on her. “How does it look?”
“Very nice,” Harry said. “But backwards. Let me do it again.” When it was on the right way, he nodded at her.
“You look pleased with yourself,” commented Leilani.
“Erm. Yeah, I am,” he laughed nervously. “So... what’d you get me?”
Leilani stopped smiling.
“You just said you got me something.”
“No, it’s...” Leilani turned and walked away from him. Harry had to jog to catch up.
“I forgot it at home,” she lied as she started to walk faster. She couldn’t give it to him after he had gotten her something so nice.
“No you didn’t,” Harry took her by the arm and stopped her from walking.
“Your gift was so thoughtful, and mine is just stupid.”
“I don’t care,” Harry said with a shrug. Leilani shook her head in annoyance, but she decided to give it to him anyway. She took a hold of Harry’s wrist and turned his palm face up. Leilani reached into her pocket, pulled out his unwrapped gift, and put in in his hand. She stuffed her hands in her pockets and looked at the ground.
“Yes! I could always use more socks!” Harry laughed. “What’s are all these lines though?”
“Dad and I went to London last week. It’s a map of the Underground.”
Harry laughed again.
“These are excellent. Thank you, this is nothing to be ashamed of.” Leilani looked back up to see Harry grinning at her. “I better put them on.”
Harry walked over to the curb and sat down, and Leilani followed. He took off his shoes and socks and replaced them with the socks she had given him.
“Ooh, they feel so nice and snuggly on my feet,” Harry said as he held his foot up in the air in front of him. Leilani giggled at him.
“So you really like them?”
“I’ll get you something better next time.”
“Nah, don’t worry about it,” Harry said as he put his shoes back on. He looked again at the necklace hanging around Leilani’s neck. “It really does look nice on you.”
Leilani suddenly had the strong urge to make some sort of advance on him.
Kiss him! Kiss him!
Their eyes seemed to be glued together. It would be the perfect moment. The sun had just set, they were all alone...
Harry looked away and down at his knees.
There goes your chance, Leilani.
She could make a grab for his hand though... It was just sitting there on the curb. All she’d have to do was put hers on top of it.
Do it! Do it!
For a second there, she really was going to do it. But then, a much more annoying voice than the one telling her to hold Harry’s hand popped in her head.
You’re being ruled by your emotions, Leilani. Remember what you’ve been worrying about for the past two and a half weeks? Shouldn’t you figure out what you really want before hurrying things along?
Leilani hated this voice, but for some reason she decided to listen to it. For the time being, anyway. After sitting there in silence for a few minutes, Harry spoke again.
“I guess we should probably go back,” Harry said regretfully.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Leilani sighed.
They got up and went back to his house. Harry was about to go down the path to the front door, but Leilani stopped him by grabbing his arm. She wasn’t quite ready to go back in there with both hers and Harry’s parents.
“Erm...” Leilani realized that she hadn’t had anything planned to say.
“Erm what?” Harry asked, looking at her curiously.
“Never mind.” Leilani wondered if Harry felt as awkward as she did right now.
Kiss him! Kiss him!
Leilani hugged him.
“Thanks again,” she said in his ear.
“You don’t need to keep thanking me, Leilani,” he said. “But you’re welcome.”
Leilani kissed Harry on the cheek. It seemed to her as if his whole body stiffened when she did this. Even she had been a little surprised that she did it. She backed away a little bit so she could see Harry’s eyes, but Leilani kept her arms around his shoulders. They simply stared at each other.
They were so close to each other... It was the perfect moment...
Leilani heard the front door opening. She and Harry unattached their arms from each other as fast as they possibly could. They both turned and saw James opening the door.
“Oh, you’re back! I was just about to go look for you.”
“Why?” Harry asked, sounding rather annoyed.
“It’s dark,” answered James.
“We’re sixteen, you know. The dark isn’t going to hurt us.”
“What are you being so moody for, Harry?”
“I’m not.” James stared down at him from the porch disbelievingly. Harry put a smile on his face and faked a laugh. “I’m fine, Dad, really. Don’t get so worried.”
“All right. Well, come on in, you two.”
James went back inside.
“Well, let’s go,” Harry sighed, jerking his head towards the door. His eyes then fell upon Leilani’s necklace. He frowned. Leilani looked down at it too. The front of her shirt had a little zipper on it to adjust how low-cut it was, so she zipped it up just enough to cover the necklace. There seemed to be a silent agreement between them: they weren’t going to show it to either of their parents, at least not now.
Leilani and her parents stayed another hour at the Potter’s. She and Harry stayed fairly quiet for the most part while the adults continued to talk and tell stories, except for whenever their parents would ask them anything about school, their friends, or whatever else. There was a large amount of silent tension between Leilani and Harry, but James, Lily, and both of Leilani’s parents seemed to be having too much fun talking to notice.
Despite the tension, Leilani was still very disappointed to have to leave. When she got home, she announced to her parents that she was tired, so after they both wished her a happy birthday again, she went to her bedroom. Instead of falling asleep, she just laid on her bed for a few hours, thinking. In a way, she was glad that James had come outside when he had, because she was sure she would have kissed Harry right then and there if he had not. At the same time, she hated that James had come outside when he had for the exact same reason. She had really wanted to do it, but there was still this annoying part of her that was afraid things wouldn’t work in the end, and their friendship would be ruined. Why did she have to be so logical sometimes?
She was startled to hear Harry’s voice quietly saying her name from her bedside table. Leilani looked at the clock and saw it was ten minutes to midnight. She picked up her mirror. From the looks of it, Harry was in bed with all the lights off, just like her.
“What is it?”
“I’m sixteen now.” It was very dark, but Leilani thought she saw him smiling. She couldn’t help giggling.
“You’re growing up so fast, Harry.”
There was a long silence. It was actually only ten seconds, but it still seemed long to Leilani.
“Erm, so...” Harry paused. “Do you want to come over on Friday? That sandwich shop is still there.”
Leilani’s answer came out before giving more than a second of thought to the question.
“Yeah, sure. Is noon a good time?”
“Noon is fine.”
“Okay. I’ll see you then.”
“All right. Happy birthday, Leilani.”
“Happy birthday, Harry.”
June 14th, 2005, 2:17 am
Harry sat in his living room, tapping his knees impatiently with his fingers. He checked his watch again. Five minutes to noon. Had it really only been two minutes since he had last checked it?
He continued sitting there anxiously waiting for Leilani to arrive, wondering what he was going to do once she did. Yes, they were going to get lunch, that was all planned out. But something had happened on their birthday. Harry thought something had happened, anyway. And this something made him very uncertain about how things were going to go that day. For the past few days that moment with her in the front yard had been replaying over and over in his mind. Had it been his imagination, or had she given him the I think I want to kiss you but first I’m going to give you this really attractive look of uncertainty just to tease you and make you want me even insanely more than you already do look?
Harry was thrown out of his thoughts when he heard someone landing and stumbling out of the fireplace behind him. He immediately stood up and walked over to greet Leilani.
“Hi Harry,” she smiled.
“Hi,” he smiled back.
Harry wasn’t expecting an awkward silence so soon into their visit. He decided he had to break it, in any way that he could.
“I like your hair like that.”
“Oh, thanks,” Leilani said, looking slightly surprised. Her hair was in two buns on the back of her head, and either Harry had never seen it like that, or he had never bothered noticing. “Well I like your hair like that too.”
“You like it when it’s messy? Meaning always?”
“Mmm hmm,” she grinned. Harry laughed.
“Well now that it’s settled that we like each others’ hair, do you want to go get lunch?”
They went to the front door, and when Harry opened it and let Leilani go out first, he noticed a silver chain poking out of the back of her t-shirt. He smiled to himself.
Harry was surprised at how well everything went that day. Leilani told him about some of the more interesting things that Hermione told her about her trip to Italy, Harry told her about his time at Ron’s house the other day, and they talked quite a bit about the upcoming school year and the O.W.L. scores they had received the week before. He suspected that Leilani was probably trying to avoid more potentially embarrassing and uncomfortable moments by keeping the conversation so normal, because that was exactly what he was doing.
Friday went so well that Harry decided to invite Leilani to come over again on Monday. And again on Wednesday. In fact, they started spending the afternoons together several times a week for the rest of August. Although the awkward moments of the month before were still very present in Harry’s mind, and he suspected in Leilani’s too, every time they saw each other they both acted as if they had completely forgotten about them happening. Before every visit, Harry told himself that he should bring up one of those moments in hopes that it would some how lead to something new and exciting happening, yet every time, neither him nor Leilani even mentioned Angelina’s party or their birthday. After several days of this, he figured that as much as he wanted something to happen, it was probably easier this way, for the time being at least. Besides, simply spending time with her always made him happy.
Less than a week before the new term at Hogwarts started, Leilani came over to Harry’s house again. She arrived at noon as usual, and after eating the lunch that they had made together, she suggested that they go take a walk and possibly find a place to get dessert.
“Erm... Actually, I was going to ask if you’d help me with something.”
“What is it?”
“I really don’t want to do it,” Harry began. “But my parents asked me yesterday if I could start cleaning out the attic before I go back to school. They’ve got all these boxes, a whole bunch from when my grandparents on my dad’s side died. They want me to go through them and organize and all that fun stuff.”
“Sure, I’ll help you,” nodded Leilani. “That could be fun, actually. Old stuff can be interesting.”
“Ooh, old stuff. Exciting,” said Harry, leading her out of the kitchen and up the stairs.
“It might be, you never know what we’ll find.”
Harry went to the end of the hall and looked up at the attic door on the ceiling. His hand reached up to pull the string that would open it and let the ladder down, but he was too short to reach.
“I wish I was taller,” Harry complained, as he jumped to reach it. He got a hold of the string and pulled down the door.
“Why? You’re a good height.”
“You think so?” Harry asked, looking away from the ladder and at Leilani.
“Yeah. If I want to be face to face with you, it’s not that hard. With really tall people you have to crane your neck.”
In other words, I’m a good height because you wouldn’t have to crane your neck if you wanted to kiss me, right? Harry thought, trying not to grin too widely.
“So what, are you biased against tall people? You don’t like Ron anymore? Cedric turned you off to them?”
“No. I’m just saying,” shrugged Leilani.
“That you’re only friends with me because I’m short,” Harry smirked.
“Professor Flitwick is short. You’re medium height. Why are we talking about this anyway?”
“Because I couldn’t reach that string to open the attic door. Come on.”
Harry pulled down the ladder and climbed up into the attic. Leilani followed close behind. The room was full of boxes that looked like they had not been touched for years.
“This is going to take forever,” he sighed.
“But you said they just wanted you to start it, didn’t you?” Leilani asked.
“Oh. Yeah, you’re right,” Harry said, as he opened a window. “Do you think there’s enough dust in here?”
“Should we each take a box, then? Just see what’s inside and we can decide what to do with it.”
They both sat down and each opened a box, slowly going through the contents. They both happened to find their boxes full of old books.
“You know, Harry,” said Leilani. “If you or your parents don’t want some of these, I bet Madame Pince would be happy to take them. Or you could sell them to that second hand bookshop in Diagon Alley.”
“They have a second hand bookshop in Diagon Alley?”
“Yeah, Hermione dragged me in there a couple years ago. Actually, Hermione would probably take anything your parents don’t want too.”
They continued going through the books, sorting them into different piles according to what shape they were in and how likely the Potters were to want to keep them.
“Flangle Marzlecamps?” Leilani said curiously, after taking out a thick brown book.
“What are Flangle Marzlecamps?”
“I have no idea,” answered Harry
“Well that’s what the book is called.”
“That’s a great name, though. I have to read it,” laughed Harry. “Let me see?”
She handed him the book, and he set it aside to take back to his room.
“Oh, Harry,” said Leilani, as she set another book down. “I was at Hermione’s the other day, and we were talking about us all meeting up in Diagon Alley on Sunday. You, me, her, and Ron.”
“That sounds fine.”
“Good. We were thinking we’d meet in front of Gringott’s at eleven,” Leilani told him. Harry nodded. “It seems like forever since the four of us have been together, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, I know,” he agreed. “I haven’t seen Hermione since the party.”
Harry, having realized that he had brought up the avoided and untouched subject at last, glanced up at Leilani. Her eyes met his, but they both automatically looked back down at their boxes within seconds.
“I haven’t seen Ron since then either,” Leilani said. “How is he?”
“Pretty good, I saw him last week.”
“Mmm,” nodded Leilani. Harry finished with his box and opened another, which was full of old robes and hats. “Harry?”
“Why did Fred rig it like that?” she asked casually. Harry didn’t answer. “He obviously thought it was really funny.”
“He did,” agreed Harry. “But, erm... I think people... They talk about us.”
Leilani didn’t respond at first; instead she took a minute to inspect a very old looking book from her box.
“Have they said anything to you?” she asked.
“Mmm hmm,” Harry said, eying another book and trying to make himself look and sound distracted. “I told you what Cho said.”
“Yeah, that’s right...”
This is where you confess your love for me.
“Merlin, this book is heavy,” moaned Leilani.
Or maybe later...
“Oh wow! It’s a really old edition of Hogwarts, A History! Hermione would love to see this!”
The rest of the day went on as if this brief conversation had never happened. That night, after she had left, Harry started wondering about the whole situation and if anything was ever going to happen between them. Yes, it was incredibly nice being able to spend time with Leilani just as friends, but he was still getting anxious for something to happen, especially since he thought the feelings were mutual.
Harry came to the conclusion that night that rather than continuing to wait for her to make a move, he was just going to have to take the action himself, whether that was to tell Leilani how he felt about her, or to just kiss her or something. He wouldn’t do it the next time he saw her, since Ron and Hermione would be there, but once they got back to Hogwarts. Harry could not wait much longer. And he really hoped that Leilani couldn’t either.
June 15th, 2005, 9:50 am
On Saturday, the day before she was going to go to Diagon Alley with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Leilani woke up at around ten and had breakfast with both her parents. Her mother finished her breakfast fairly quickly, and announced that she was going to go run some errands, so she gave her husband a quick kiss, and left the kitchen. Leilani, who was just finishing the last of her pumpkin juice, watched her father slyly tiptoe to the door once she had left the room.
“What’re you doing, Dad?”
“Nothing, be quiet,” he whispered. He listened for a minute, heard the front door closing, and then smiled. He went over to the counter, picked up some red and white checkered oven mitts and put them on. “Come on, Lei, let’s go to the living room!”
“Dad!” moaned Leilani, realizing what he was doing. “We don’t need to do this every year!”
“Yes we do, I want you to be prepared and in shape when the situation arises.”
Leilani’s father dragged her out of the kitchen and into the living room. He stood with the palm side of the oven mitts facing her.
“Give me the best you’ve got.”
“I’m never going to need it!”
“Yes you are, I can sense it.”
“Oh, so you’re a Seer now?”
“Yep!” her father laughed.
“Even if I will need it, we do this every year, I don’t need any more practice!” Leilani insisted, and she punched his mitted hand.
“Oh yes you do, that was pathetic. You can do better than that!” She punched the mitt again. “You’re not pulling back.”
“When am I ever seriously going to need to hit someone?” Leilani asked as she tried again, this time pulling her arm back more. “My wand is in perfect shape.”
“I’m covering all the corners. You get plenty of magical defense from me, but I need to teach you something physical too. Trust me, sometimes your fist just feels better.”
“I’m not a violent person,” said Leilani.
“It’s in your blood, Lei.”
“It is not!”
“Ooh, nice one!” Leilani’s father shook his right hand for a minute before putting it back up. “But you misinterpreted me. You’re nothing like the clan of Slytherins we’re descended from, thank goodness. But we’ve still got a bit of... how do you say...”
“Yes, that’s right,” he laughed. “Besides that, the rest of our family would do anything to see evil prevail, back in the days of Voldemort. But I- and I know you would too in those circumstances- I had an equal amount of determination as them, but it was to do anything to make sure good prevailed. Absolutely anything. And if that included giving someone on the other side a good punch, well, I’d just have to do it.”
“But I’m never going to be in those circumstances. And I don’t see what good hitting a Death Eater would be even if they were still around.”
“You’d have to do it in a crowded public place, then they couldn’t curse you back!”
Leilani couldn’t help laughing.
“You know violence doesn’t solve anything, right?”
“Maybe not. But even if you only do it once, and the guy really deserves it...”
“I’m only ever doing it if they’ve done something really bad.”
“Good, that’s my whole point! Hit it me again.”
“How long do we have to do this for?” Leilani asked as she punched his mitted hand.
“I don’t know,” her father shrugged. “Say, Leilani?”
“You sure have been going to Harry’s a lot this month,” he commented, obviously trying (and failing) to bring up the subject casually. Leilani put her fists down.
“I’ve been spending time with Hermione too.”
“Yes, but more with Harry,” he said.
“Well it’s different. You both are sixteen now and he’s... well, he’s a boy.”
“As I remember every time you tell one of those stupid stories about us being in the bath together!” Leilani said loudly, glaring at him. “I know he’s a boy!”
“Then I hope you also know what happens when boys and girls get too close.”
“Why are you talking to me like I’m ten years old?”
“Well I didn’t want to just come out and say it...”
“You think Harry and I are going out?” Leilani asked, giving him the most incredulous look she could manage.
“Well I couldn’t help wondering...” Her father said. “And hoping, actually.”
“Dad! You are out of your mind!” Leilani yelled, and punched his hand as hard as she could.
“That was great, Leilani!” he said happily. “But really, how am I out of my mind? He’s a perfectly good looking boy, you two are already close, he’s in the right age group. Leilani Potter would be a good name. And both of you would get along with the in-laws remarkably well.”
“Would you shut up!? Not that my love life is any of your business, but I’m telling you now that Harry has nothing to do with it!” Leilani punched him again. This was a complete lie, of course, but she had absolutely no desire to let her father know anything about her feelings for Harry. “So drop it, please!”
“Fine, fine,” he said. “But you obviously don’t know a good thing when it’s in front of you.”
Leilani practiced punching with her father for another ten minutes before he let her stop. She went off to her room afterwards, telling him that she was going to go read. When she got to her room, Leilani opened the second to bottom drawer of her dresser, and went digging through all her pants until she found a journal with a small white quill stuck inside. Her mother had given this to her years ago, and she rarely used it. But whenever Leilani felt like she needed to, she was always grateful that she had it. The quill that came with the journal used no ink, and the purple writing that appeared from it was invisible to everyone except the person who wrote it.
Leilani laid on her stomach on her bed and opened the journal to the first blank page. She stared at the page for close to five minutes, just thinking, before she took the quill in her hand and started writing.
So it’s been over 9 months since I felt the need to write in here. Makes perfect sense, the last entry appears to be all about Cedric. Well Cedric is history and I’m all the better for it. He’s a good for nothing pretty boy and Cho deserves him.
Remember our good friend Harry? Yes, you guessed it, nobody can go too long without falling for their best friend of the opposite sex, and I am no exception. I can’t help it. He’s too cute. And an excellent kisser. (Spin the bottle is a moronic game but oh my oh my I owe a lot to it.) I’m pretty sure the feelings are mutual too. You should see how awkward he gets sometimes, if I didn’t get the same way, it might be funny.
There’s a little dilemma I’ve had about the whole thing though. You have no idea (well yes you do, you’re me) how much I want to just grab him and kiss him sometimes and whatever else we can get away with. But I haven’t ‘cause I’ve had this stupid fear that things won’t work out in the end and we’ll end up hating each other. I know, nobody can imagine us hating each other but what if something happened? Things change when suddenly you are holding hands and kissing and that ends. You can never look at them the same way. Everyone has a tendency to not want to see their ex’s after breaking up with them. There’s exceptions, sure, but still.
That’s been my wave of thinking. For quite awhile now. Okay, it’s only been a month and a half since I realized I liked him, but that is quite awhile in teenage life.
So here’s the brand new thought: What makes me think it won’t work in the end? I don’t know! Why wouldn’t it? MY OWN MOTHER started dating her future husband when she was 16! I’m 16! Why should I have to be 22 before I meet the love of my life? Yes, a lot of people don’t find that person until their 20’s but there are exceptions. Like both mine and Harry’s parents. Maybe it’s in our genes to find lasting love in our teens. Okay maybe you can’t inherit that. But still. I could be an exception. Why shouldn’t teenage romance last?
Because Harry wouldn’t be some fleeting relationship, I know that. We’ve already got a relationship that has lasted our entire lives so far. We know each other better than anyone else does, excepting our parents probably. We trust each other. We care about each other. We’re good at working through problems whenever they arise. Why wouldn’t it work?
I think it would.
I think I should do it.
I think I’m in love.
Leilani Andromeda Black
June 17th, 2005, 8:13 am
Harry’s parents decided to come with him on Sunday to go to Diagon Alley. They arrived at ten, giving them an hour to look around before Harry had to go meet Ron, Hermione, and Leilani. At five to eleven, he left them to go to Gringott’s, but not before getting enough money from them to buy all his school things. Harry arrived at the front steps of the bank at exactly eleven o’ clock, and he found Ron and Hermione already there, chatting happily.
“Hi,” said Harry.
“Hey, Harry!” smiled Ron.
“You’re finally here, Harry!” Hermione said happily. “It’s great to see you!”
“Yeah, you too,” Harry grinned, as Hermione gave him a hug.
“Well, let’s go then, now that we’re all here,” said Hermione. “If you don’t mind, I wanted to stop and get some potion ingredients first-”
“Aren’t we going to wait for Leilani?” Harry interrupted, watching her and Ron go down the steps without him.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you,” Hermione said, stopping in her tracks and turning around to face Harry.
“Tell me what?” Harry asked worriedly.
“Leilani woke up today feeling sick to her stomach. Adriana told me she took some potion for it, but she still wouldn’t let Leilani come out today.”
“Oh,” frowned Harry, feeling extremely disappointed. He rushed forward and fell in step with Ron and Hermione.
“Adriana asked me to get Leilani’s things for her,” Hermione continued. “I’m in all of her classes so it would be easiest for me to do it.”
“I hope she’s okay,” said Ron. “I mean, if they wouldn’t let her out of the house.”
“She’s perfectly fine, from the sound of it, but her parents wanted her to stay home as a precaution.”
He felt as if a damper had been put on the whole day, but Harry tried to act perfectly cheerful as he shopped with Ron and Hermione. They went to get Potions ingredients for Hermione and Leilani first. After going to Flourish and Blotts next to buy all their books, they all were very hungry, so they went to have lunch. On the way out of the restaurant, they saw Ginny, who was with a group of her friends. She saw them too, and left her friends momentarily to come talk to Ron.
“Hey, Ron,” she said, after greeting Harry and Hermione. “Do you know where this store is?”
Ginny showed Ron what looked like a shopping list and pointed at the top.
“Do you think you could get these things for Mum, then?” asked Ginny. “I can’t find it.”
“I can tell you where it is, genius! I’m not running Mum’s errands for you!” exclaimed Ron. “It’s near Knockturn Alley, next to that restaurant with the rhyming waitresses. You can’t miss it, the sign is all sparkly so you’ll think your counters will look like that when you use their products.”
“But I’m headed in the other direction, Ron. Please?” Ginny pouted.
Harry caught Hermione’s eyes. She appeared to be as impatient as he felt.
“Fine,” shrugged Ginny, with a glint in her eye that told Harry she was up to something sneaky. “I don’t want to mess up my own chances of getting on the Quidditch team just so you won’t get that Firebolt, but if I really have to-”
“Fine!” shouted Ron, snatching the list from Ginny’s hand. “You are so immature, you know that?”
“Thank you Ron!” smiled Ginny. “You are without a doubt my favorite underage brother!”
Ginny ran off, leaving Ron glaring at the shopping list, and Harry laughing. Hermione leaned over to look at it too.
“I know that place too, Ron,” she said. “It’s right near that shop with those nice quills. Do you need to go there?”
“Well you can get your mum’s things while Harry and I are in there,” said Hermione. “Is that okay with you Harry?”
“I guess, but I don’t really need new quills.”
“Yes you do,” Hermione told him, as they started to walk toward the shops. “You only have one usable one left.”
“How do you remember these things?” Harry asked, looking at her like she was crazy.
“Because you couldn’t find it on the day of our Charms O.W.L. and had to borrow one from me.”
“Why didn’t you remember my quill situation, Hermione?” laughed Ron.
“Your family always has plenty.”
“So you did remember...”
“Yep,” Hermione nodded. After another five minutes, they stopped in front of the store they were heading to.
“Have fun, Ron,” smirked Harry, as Ron left to go to his mother’s store.
“Funny, Harry. Really.”
Harry and Hermione went into the quill shop and started perusing the shelves. Harry picked out five very plain quills in about two minutes, but when he returned to Hermione, he found that she had still only picked one and was still looking.
“Ooh, this is a fun one!” she smiled, looking at one colored with bright blue, green, and red. “Don’t you think, Harry?”
“Sure,” answered Harry. He held up the quills he had picked out. “Why don’t you just get some like these? It’s easy.”
“It’s boring though.”
“Girls,” said Harry, rolling his eyes.
“At least we make things interesting.”
“Well I can’t deny that.”
“I don’t know if we’re thinking on the same track, but good,” laughed Hermione. She continued looking in silence for another minute or so, before speaking to Harry again, in a much quieter voice than before. “Can I ask you something, Harry?”
“Are you interested in Leilani?”
Harry thought his heart almost stopped.
“Interested? What do you mean, interested?” Harry tried not to sound nervous. He wasn’t sure if it was working.
“Like as in a girlfriend?”
“Why are you asking?” Harry asked as nonchalantly as he could. He pretended to suddenly be interested in a peacock feather quill.
“Oh, it just seemed like you were being a bit flirty at that party,” Hermione said with shrug.
“Erm, well, have you asked her? I mean... er... If she’s interested? In me?”
“Yeah,” Hermione nodded, as she finally picked out a second quill.
“What did she say?” Harry’s heart was beating twice as fast as normal. “Tell me the truth.”
“Of course, I wouldn’t lie to you, Harry,” Hermione said. “She said no. That you’re like a brother to her.”
Harry couldn’t find his voice to make any sort of reply. She had said he was like a brother to her? He did not doubt that Hermione was telling the truth, he could usually tell if she was lying to him. Harry might have thought that Leilani had been lying to Hermione though, except for that he knew for a fact that she always told Hermione who she had a crush on. In fact, one week before they started dating, Leilani had specifically told Hermione to let it slip around Cedric that she liked him, so that he would be inspired to ask her out. The same thing should have been happening now, but instead...
“Harry?” He found Hermione staring at him.
“I don’t fancy Leilani, so don’t bother me about it,” he muttered. It didn’t come out as confidently as he would have liked, but at the moment he hardly cared. “You’re taking forever, I’m waiting outside.”
Harry found an empty bench in front of the store and sat on it, staring blankly at a shop across the way. He could not believe this was happening. It made no sense. How could Leilani not return his feelings? Had Harry been making something big out of nothing for the last month and a half? Part of him felt like going back into the shop and doing something really mean to Hermione for delivering this information to him. The other part of him wanted to make a trip to the Black household and do something really mean to Leilani instead.
“Are you okay, Harry?” He heard Ron’s voice next to him and looked over at him. “You look miserable.”
“I’m fine,” he lied. Ron frowned at him. Harry forced himself to grin at him. “I’m fine Ron, don’t worry.”
Hermione soon joined them and they finished their shopping. Harry was very relieved when they were done, because he was finding it very difficult to keep a content look on his face around his friends. He met up with his parents shortly after two and they went home.
As soon as Harry got in the front door, he escaped to his room and collapsed on his bed, after removing his glasses and dropping them next to his mirror. He buried his face in his pillow.
How was this possible? Leilani had told him he was a good kisser despite the easy option to lie. She definitely was not scared away by the necklace that neither of them would tell their parents he had given her, and she had worn it every day that she had come over. It had seemed as though she was about to kiss him that one time. Did she really think of him as only a brother? How could she? Could she have been lying to Hermione? Maybe Harry was different from anyone else she had felt anything for in the past. Maybe she didn’t want Hermione to know how she felt, simply because Harry was her best friend...
But then again, what if the normal behavior Leilani had shown in the past month wasn’t just her faking things? She could have liked him, and then gotten over it. Or, she never liked him to begin with and realized how she was acting so she had stopped herself. Wasn’t Harry looking for clues of her feelings for him? It could have all been his imagination. He had just been getting his hopes up.
What made Harry feel the worst was that if Hermione was right, he knew it was going to take a very long time to get over Leilani. She was always going to be around him, so there would be no distance to make him forget about her. He couldn’t think of any other girl at Hogwarts that he could possibly feel anything for after her, so there was no hope in getting over her that way. Harry had really started to think he was falling in love with Leilani. How could he possibly fall out of love with her?
“Are you home yet?”
Harry heard Leilani’s voice coming from his mirror. He sat up and wiped his eyes with his sleeve. He was about to pick up the mirror, but then he realized his eyes might be red. He couldn’t have Leilani asking questions.
“Pick it up, Harry,” said Leilani.
The first decent excuse Harry could think of came out of his mouth before he could stop it.
There was a moment of silence.
“Why are you naked?” Leilani asked.
“I went outside and the lady next door sprayed me with her hose and my clothes got all wet.”
“Well put some pants on and let me talk to you.”
“I don’t really feel like talking,” said Harry shakily.
“Why not?” Leilani asked.
“I...” Harry stopped to think. “I was trying to take a nap and you woke me up. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.”
“I didn’t know you slept in the nude,” she laughed.
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry I woke you up. Get back to your nap.”
Harry collapsed on his bed again. How was he ever going to be able to face Leilani again? He knew he couldn’t ask her if she had really said that and if she had really meant it. Because either way, she would know how Harry felt. If he really was like a brother to her, then because Harry had told her how he felt, their whole relationship would change, probably for the worse. He could not talk to her about it. It was simply not an option.
There was one bright side to the whole situation, however. At least Hermione had told him before Harry had gone and made a fool of himself. It was embarrassing just thinking about what he had been planning on doing once he got back to school. If nothing else, at least Harry had been stopped from ruining their friendship.
June 20th, 2005, 8:50 am
“Hi, Harry,” Leilani said to her mirror. “I have to tell you something. I never thought this would happen... but it has. Ever since we kissed, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you oh this is so cheesy!”
Leilani turned away from her mirror and paced her room.
And it’s not cheesy that you’re practicing in front of your mirror?
She had never thought it would come to practicing in front of the mirror, but somehow it had. Leilani had made her decision. The next day, she was returning to Hogwarts, and when they left the Great Hall the next night, Ron and Hermione would be busy guiding the younger students along to Gryffindor Tower. She would have a chance to pull Harry aside, and then, she would tell him how she felt about him. But she still had to work out the minor details.
Leilani stopped pacing and stopped in front of her mirror again.
“Hey Harry, could I talk to you about something? Good. Well, the other day when you wouldn’t pick up your mirror- stop, it’s no good!”
She started again.
“Oh, my darling Harry, won’t you kiss me again? I love what you do with those lips of yours, it makes my heart flutter just thinking about it. Oh the exhilaration!”
Leilani shook her head at herself.
“Hi, Harry. I think... I think we both know something is going on. What? Erm, I think you know. Why do you think I agreed to come over so much this summer? I know, we spend a lot of time together, but it was somehow... special this time. What do I mean by special? Er... Well... Remember that conversation we had? About how I’d want my boyfriend to my best friend? But what about the other way around? My best friend... being my... boyfriend. Of course I mean it! It just took me so long to say this because I needed to make sure this was real. I had to know this would last. And I think it could. You do too? I love you! Oh no, Leilani, don’t say that yet, you might scare the boy.”
She stopped speaking to her reflection and just stared at herself. No matter how much Leilani thought that no matter what she said would result in a happy ending, the idea of saying it was still nerve racking
“Just kiss him,” she mumbled, and she fell on her bed and turned the lamp off.
The next morning, Leilani was dropped off by her mother at the train station in London to take the Hogwarts Express back to school. Leilani was looking forward very much to her sixth year. Not only was she going to be taking N.E.W.T. classes, but she was looking forward more than ever to being with her friends, especially Harry. Her stomach jumped in excitement and nervousness every time she thought about her plan.
After going through the barrier to Platform 9 3/4, Leilani found that Hermione, Ron, and Harry were there already, so they all boarded the train and found a compartment together. When Hermione and Ron left to take care of prefect duties, Leilani was left alone with Harry. In the absence of her other friends, she noticed that he was being very quiet. He was simply staring out the window of the train and saying nothing.
“What’re you thinking, Harry?” asked Leilani. Harry glanced at her and shook his head.
“Nothing,” he shrugged, and went back to looking out the window.
“Did you look at that book? About the Moozlecamps?”
“Marzlecamps,” Harry corrected her. “Yeah. I brought it too. They were a group of wizards centuries ago that did special defense magic or something. Flangle is the name of one of the branches.”
“That sounds interesting.”
They sat in silence for ten minutes before Leilani said anything else.
“Dad was telling me Defense class should be really good this year,” she said.
“Yeah, there are all sorts of good jinxes we’ll be learning,” Leilani told him.
“That should be great,” Harry said dully.
“Er... Are you okay, Harry?”
He looked away from the window and at Leilani.
“I’m pretty tired, actually. I couldn’t fall asleep last night.”
“I don’t know. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll try to get some sleep.”
“Sure, I don’t mind.”
Harry laid down across the seats and closed his eyes. Leilani watched him for awhile, frowning. She did not think he was actually tired. Something seemed to be wrong with him, and she had no idea what it was. He was being far too quiet and he hadn’t smiled at her once. Every time she had gone to his house that summer, Leilani had noticed that whenever they first saw each other, Harry could not go more than ten seconds without smiling at her.
He’s getting bored with me and is trying to avoid me through fake sleeping! said a paranoid voice in Leilani’s head. Seconds later, she told herself she was being ridiculous and decided it probably had nothing to do with her. She couldn’t expect Harry to be cheerful all the time. Maybe he was just worried about classes getting harder. Or maybe he had had a fight with his parents. It could have been anything. She was concerned, but she wasn’t going to get too worried.
Leilani pulled out a book and read until Ron and Hermione returned, at which time Harry woke up (or at least opened his eyes- Leilani doubted he had really been sleeping). After talking nonstop about her trip to Italy for what seemed like at least an hour, Hermione addressed Harry, who had stayed rather quiet the whole time.
“I never asked you on Sunday, Harry,” she began. “How was your summer? Did you do anything fun?”
“It was fine. Nothing special, really.”
Leilani caught Harry’s eye.
“Really? Nothing special?” She tried to say this as casually and calmly as possible.
“You were there half the time, you should know,” said Harry. “You wouldn’t call it special, would you? I mean, what did we do all summer? Eat, talk, walk, talk more, eat more, walk more, talk more about eating more, clean out the attic... oh yes, and talk some more!”
Harry had a strange, almost resentful look on his face, but Leilani was the only one to notice because Ron and Hermione were both giggling. Why did he look like that? Did he think all his time with her had just been a boring waste of time?
“I guess you’re right.” Leilani forced herself to laugh. “Not very special at all.”
“But you had a good time though?” asked Hermione.
“Sure,” said Harry. “Leilani’s my best friend, of course I had fun.”
There was something strange about the way he grinned when he said this though.
“And what am I?” laughed Ron.
“Oh, right, sorry Leilani,” said Harry. “Let me take that back.”
Leilani thought she should have laughed, but she couldn’t. Harry rolled his eyes.
“Oh come on,” he sighed impatiently. “Don’t look at me like that! I didn’t mean it.”
Leilani’s eyes shifted briefly to see Ron and Hermione looking at them strangely.
“I didn’t give you a look,” she said quietly.
“Yes you did.”
“My mind was somewhere else, Harry. Forget it.”
There was an awkward silence, which was eventually broken by Ron.
“So, Leilani... Did you get anything good for your birthday?”
Her eyes stayed on Ron, but Leilani could still see that Harry was staring at her.
“Nothing special,” she shrugged. “Socks.”
Leilani pulled up the legs of her pants to reveal a dark blue pair with bright tropical fish swimming around her ankles.
“How cute!” Hermione exclaimed. “I like those.”
“Thanks,” grinned Leilani. She looked back at Harry, who’s eyes immediately went back to the window. He did not look happy.
There was another silence.
“So...” said Ron slowly. “How about that party, huh?”
Leilani, Harry, and Hermione all twitched.
“If only Angelina had offered to erase our memories afterwards,” muttered Harry.
“Excuse me,” said Leilani as she stood up. “I need to go use the bathroom.”
She rushed out of their compartment and down to the bathroom. When she got there, she simply stared at herself in the mirror, taking shuddering breaths.
“It’s nothing,” she whispered to herself. “You’re making something out of nothing.”
Leilani took a few deep breaths.
“It’s nothing,” she repeated. “You’re being paranoid. Go back there, be cheerful... and stop talking to yourself.”
June 21st, 2005, 10:09 am
Harry sat staring out the train window, watching the green landscape quickly go by, while Hermione went back to talking about her summer and describing, at Ron’s request, all the great Italian meals she had enjoyed. Harry hardly listened though; his mind, like always, was on Leilani.
Part of him really wished that Leilani would stay in the bathroom for the rest of their trip. It was far too uncomfortable being around her right now. These horrible things kept coming out of his mouth, wanting to prove to all of them that he had absolutely no romantic feelings for her. But Harry knew he was doing more than that. He could tell Leilani’s feelings were being hurt. He was making it sound like he didn’t even like her as a friend. But then, she had led him on all summer, resulting in his feelings being hurt, so didn’t she have it coming?
Harry hated himself for thinking this. He didn’t deserve her anyway if he was going to feel justified in making her feel bad at the same time as claiming to love her.
You do not love her! Get over it!
The door of their compartment opened, and Leilani came in and sat down again across from Harry with some Cauldron Cakes in hand.
“I passed the snack cart on the way back,” she said. “So I got these for all of us.”
“Thanks, Leilani,” Ron and Hermione said at the same time. Leilani handed one to Harry.
“Thanks,” he mumbled as he took the cake. Harry watched Leilani listen to Hermione continue describing a great pasta dinner she’d had one night as he nibbled on it. Why did Leilani have to look so beautiful all the time, so effortlessly? If she suddenly got really disgusting, it might be easier to get over her. That, and her suddenly converting to Slytherin House, having realized how much she admired her dead Death Eater uncle and her obnoxious second cousin Draco Malfoy.
Harry hardly contributed to the conversation for the next hour, and eventually decided to pretend to fall asleep again in order to avoid being asked any more questions. It took entirely too long for them to arrive at Hogwarts, in Harry’s opinion, but when they finally did, he and his friends all left the train and took the horseless carriages to the castle. The sorting ceremony and the feast also lasted far too long. When it was over, Hermione and Ron left to help the other prefects guide along the younger students. Which meant that Harry would be forced to go all the way back to Gryffindor Tower with only Leilani. If the idea of doing this was so painful, he wasn’t sure how he was going to survive the rest of the year.
“It’s good to be back, isn’t it?” said Leilani, as they followed some fourth years up the stairs to the second floor.
“I’ve always heard sixth year is the best,” Leilani continued. “The classes get more involved and interesting, harder too, but we still don’t have to worry about N.E.W.T. exams for another year. And we’re sixteen too, which everyone says is a fun age. Old enough to be... responsible, I guess, but we’re legally still kids so we don’t have to be responsible for everything.”
“And we’re all hormone controlled. So there’s that aspect of fun too.”
Harry looked over at Leilani and she grinned at him.
“Maybe you enjoy being controlled by your hormones. Not all of us do.” Leilani stopped grinning and didn’t answer. “So, new love interest? Who is it now? Roger Davies? Or another Hufflepuff? You going to give Ernie another go?”
“Erm. Now that you mention it... er... Actually it’s...” Leilani paused. Her voice had been shaking slightly.
“Don’t take offense, Leilani, but I don’t really care,” Harry said quickly, before she could go on. He thought if Leilani told him that she liked some other boy, he would have to go curse him. And he really did not want to land himself in detention because of her.
“What?” he said impatiently. Leilani stopped walking. Harry stopped too and faced her. “I don’t want to miss the password.”
“You don’t care?” she asked.
“Since when do I care about your love life? Hermione cares, go talk to her.”
Leilani’s eyes fell to the floor. She nodded.
“Right, let’s not miss the password,” she mumbled. Leilani swept past him to continue on her way to Gryffindor Tower. Harry jogged to catch up with her.
“What are you getting so offended for?” Harry asked. He felt almost ashamed that he had a slight hope that it was, for some strange reason, because Hermione had actually given him false information. The hope was very small though.
“Because... Because I thought you might care, given that you’re my best friend and all,” she answered, keeping her eyes on the group they were following.
“So I should care about everything you do, every thought that goes through your mind? Every time you floss your teeth or clip your toenails? Because I’m such a good friend!”
“Yes!” said Leilani loudly, but sounding agitated.
“Then go ahead and tell me!” said Harry, resigning to the fact that he’d just have to face that detention. Leilani halted in her tracks and looked at him in the eyes.
“No! If you said you cared, then I’d know there was reason to tell you.”
“What would the reason be? Just because I cared?”
“You could say that. But you don’t. And unless you’re just really stupid...”
“You really know how to make me feel good,” said Harry sarcastically.
“Once upon a time,” muttered Leilani.
The rest of the trip to Gryffindor Tower was made in silence.
Harry was cheered up the next morning at breakfast, when Professor McGonagall told him that Katie Bell had passed up the Gryffindor Quidditch team captainship, which meant that the position would be his. Even after the awkward occurrences of the day before, Leilani gave him a smile and congratulations when he told her, Ron, and Hermione the news.
The rest of that day, and the couple of days after that, Harry managed to avoid anymore unpleasant conversations with Leilani. He acted as normally as he could whenever anyone else was around, and he also successfully avoided being one on one with her for those few days. She was also obviously trying to act as normally as possible. There was heavy tension between him and Leilani, but however upset and however guilty he felt about bringing it about, Harry found even the idea of trying to talk to her about it very difficult to handle.
That Friday, Harry finished his dinner early. A few days earlier, in between all the awkwardness, he had managed to schedule a talk with Sirius, which would take place that evening at six o’clock.
“Why?” asked Ron when Harry announced he was leaving.
“I wanted to talk to him about the book I found,” Harry answered. “About the Flangle Marzlecamps.”
“It has to do with defense magic, right?” asked Leilani from across the table.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded. “So I thought he might find it useful.”
“That would be great if he could work it into the curriculum,” said Hermione, fairly excitedly.
“Who knows though, it’s more history,” shrugged Harry. “Well, see you later.”
Harry soon arrived in Sirius’ office, where he showed him the book and told him a little bit about it.
“To tell you the truth, Harry,” began Sirius, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to work it into my classes.”
“Oh,” frowned Harry.
“But it does seem very interesting.” Harry nodded. Sirius’ face then lit up. “Actually, there is something you could use it for.”
“Yes. Sixth years have to do a research paper, which you work on all year. I provide a list of topics, but if you really want to write yours on this, I’ll let you.”
“How long do I have to decide?” asked Harry.
“A month or so.”
“Okay. I’ll think about it then. Thanks, Sirius.”
“No problem, Harry.”
Harry grinned and stood up to leave.
He turned around.
“For now, don’t tell Lei that you get to choose your own topic,” said Sirius. “Wait until she’s chosen one. I don’t like to give her special treatment, and if she hears that I’m letting you do this, she might get ideas. And I fear it would be hard to stop her.”
“Sure, I won’t tell her,” Harry agreed. He doubted he would have told her anyway.
When Harry returned to Gryffindor Tower, he found that none of his friends were back from dinner yet. So, he decided to go up to his room in order to avoid them when they did come back. He found that he felt most at ease these days when he was by himself, when he did not have to worry about his behavior.
Harry laid down on his bed, thinking that he might be able to take a short nap. It was hopeless though, since his mind was so cluttered.
He wished desperately that he could stop thinking about her. But he never could. She was always there. And it was not fun anymore. It used make his stomach jump in excitement just picturing her smile, but now... now he felt like his heart was aching every time he looked at her. Harry hated the feeling. He hated himself for having that feeling. He just wished he could escape it-
Suddenly, and unexpectedly, a bright white light flashed before Harry’s eyes, and everything went black.
June 24th, 2005, 12:27 am
Awhile after Harry had gone to talk to her father, Leilani, Hermione and Ron finished their dinners and decided to go back to the Gryffindor common room. On the way out of the Great Hall, however, she heard someone calling out her name.
“Leilani!” She turned around and saw Justin Finch-Fletchley rushing towards her. Justin was the only Hufflepuff in her Arithmancy class.
“Hi Justin, what’s up?”
“I wanted to ask you something, about classes and stuff.”
“Oh... erm...” Leilani glanced back to Hermione and Ron. “You can go ahead without me.”
They nodded, and left Leilani with Justin outside the Great Hall.
“Sorry to bother you,” said Justin.
“That’s okay,” said Leilani. “What is it?”
“I was wondering if you could help me with Arithmancy this year. We could be study buddies or something. I always do better on Arithmancy homework when I work with someone else, but Hannah dropped out this year. So I was wondering if you’d want to study together, like once or twice a week.”
“Oh,” she said instead of answering. Leilani was fairly surprised that he was asking her. “Why didn’t you ask Hermione? She’s better than me.”
“She’s a prefect, she’s busy a lot of the time,” Justin answered.
“Or any of the Ravenclaws?” added Leilani
“I don’t like studying with Ravenclaws, they always manage to make me feel stupid when I don’t get something.”
“Right,” Leilani laughed. “Okay, just pick a day.”
“Let’s see... would Wednesdays be good?”
“Er... er...” For some strange, unknown reason, Leilani felt like her mind had gone blank for a few moments. She hardly knew where she was, who she was, or what she was doing. “Erm...”
Then everything came back to Leilani in a rush. She was standing outside the Great Hall, Justin Finch-Fletchley was asking her to help him with Arithmancy... She had a huge crush on her good friend Harry Potter, her father, Sirius Black, was a teacher here at Hogwarts, Adriana Black, born Adriana McKay, was her mother, Hermione Granger was her best girl friend, Ron Weasley, Albus Dumbledore, Cedric Diggory, Lily and James Potter... Leilani had recently turned sixteen, she liked strange socks and chocolate, the last time she had measured she was exactly five foot five and a quarter of an inch, she was in Gryffindor House just like both her parents had been, she liked to fly but was terrible at Quidditch, she had her grandmother’s eyes on her mother’s side, who had died seven years earlier... And Justin had mentioned Wednesdays...
Leilani shook her head and looked at Justin, completely forgetting the couple of moments in which all this information had hit her at once.
“Did you say Wednesday?”
“Erm, did I?” Justin frowned. “Oh! Yes, I did. Wednesdays.”
“Okay. So we have Arithmancy that afternoon so we can go to the library after class together.”
“Sounds good,” grinned Justin.
“Great,” nodded Leilani. “I’ll see you later then.”
“Bye Leilani. Thank you.”
“No problem,” she said, and she headed off for Gryffindor Tower.
On her way, Leilani’s thoughts inevitably went to Harry, as they always did. However much she had tried to act like things were normal in the past few days, there was always a large amount of tension between the two of them. After everything he had said to her the day they had returned to Hogwarts, Leilani had come to a very depressing conclusion: Harry had lost interest in her. No, she was not positive that this was the case, but why else would he have acted the way he did? Since when was Harry not interested in her love life? She was sure that if he did still like her, he would have insisted on Leilani telling him who she was interested in, in hopes that it would be him. Unless Harry had reason to think the answer would be someone else... But why would he think that? Leilani had given him no reason to think she wanted anybody else but him.
She had been avoiding talking to Harry alone since the other night, but somehow, she now felt like she really should. She did not know why, but she had started to get this feeling about halfway through her conversation with Justin. Suddenly, Leilani felt like she could not go on any longer with this silent conflict occurring between them. She had to talk to him, to make things right again. She would not tell him about her feelings for him, but she had to solve this problem.
When Leilani arrived at the Gryffindor common room, Hermione’s nose was buried in an essay, Ron was laughing about something, and Harry was sitting next to him and doing nothing. Leilani went over and sat next to Harry.
“Yeah, Harry, and I’m going to get someone really evil to stab me in the head one day, and get famous for that,” giggled Ron. “Honestly...”
“What are we talking about?” Leilani asked.
“Oh, nothing,” muttered Hermione. “Harry was going on about some nonsense about Voldemort or something...”
Leilani looked closely at Harry for the first time, and realized he was staring blankly at the table in front of him and didn’t seem to be listening to anything Hermione or Ron said.
“Harry?” His eyes snapped to hers, but he soon looked away from her and down at his knees. He looked rather nervous. “Is something wrong?”
“No, n-nothing,” said Harry quietly.
“Harry’s going mental,” answered Ron.
“I am not!” Harry yelled, and he immediately stood up and left the common room. Leilani stared after him. There seemed to be something genuinely wrong, other than his usual bad mood, so she decided to go after him.
When Leilani climbed out of the portrait hole, she did not see Harry, so she decided to take a right and hope that she would find him. Luckily, after turning a corner, she discovered that she had gone the right way. Harry was sitting on the floor against the wall, his face in his knees and his hands in his hair. He seemed to hear Leilani coming toward him, because he looked up at her. As soon as he saw her face, he scrambled clumsily to his feet and started walking quickly away from her.
“Harry, wait!” Leilani shouted, running to catch up with him.
“I am not going mental!” Harry yelled angrily.
“I never said you were, and Ron was just joking.” Leilani grabbed him by the arm, forcing Harry to stop. The disturbed and upset look on his face made her almost forget that anything was different between them. All she felt now was concern and a need to help Harry with whatever was bothering him. “What is wrong? You seem really shaken up. Did something happen with my dad?”
Harry shook his head, avoiding Leilani’s eyes.
“Then what did happen?” she asked gently.
“Erm,” he said, in an abnormally high voice. Harry’s eyes still would not meet hers; instead they were on the ceiling. His breathing was uneven. “I... I don’t... I don’t know.”
“You know, Harry.”
“No,” he insisted, shaking his head again. His eyes were starting to water.
“Harry!” Leilani said, starting to become even more worried. “Are you okay? Really? You can tell me!”
“No, I can’t.”
“Listen... I know things have been... a little funny between us the past few days, but you’re still my best friend. You can tell me.”
“I... I know that,” Harry said shakily, finally looking down at her. “But it’s... er... it’s private. You understand?”
“Erm... yeah, sure,” Leilani nodded. She was confused, and still worried, but she was not going to push it. “If you need to talk though, I’m here.”
“Thanks,” he said, obviously trying to grin, but not succeeding.
“You need a hug,” Leilani told him. Harry shrugged.
“Yes.” She put his arms around him and squeezed him tightly. Harry seemed to appreciate it.
“Thanks, Leilani,” he said as he pulled out of the hug. “Don’t worry about me, okay? I’m probably just overreacting. It’s nothing, really.”
“You sure?” Leilani frowned.
“Yeah. I’m okay,” nodded Harry.
“If you say so,” sighed Leilani. “Do you want to go back?”
“Erm, no. I’d rather just... sit here.” Harry sat back on the floor. “You can go back though.”
“No, I’ll stay with you.” Leilani sat on the floor next to Harry and cautiously put one arm around him.
Just in case there is any confusion (and memory loss), that was Harry2 we were seeing the entire time- if you go back to Escape you can see that Harry1 was gone before Leilani entered the room.
June 28th, 2005, 8:29 am
As he sat there on the hard floor with Leilani’s arm around him, Harry thought that he should experience mysterious blackouts and then proceed to have a panic attack and almost cry about it more often.
He only thought this for a moment, though. Harry would much rather not worry about what had made him go suddenly unconscious and wake up in a completely different room, even if it did inspire Leilani to comfort him. There was no explanation for this happening, none that he could think of. All he knew was that something was definitely wrong with him. He really did think that he might be having some sort of mental problem, and he was scared that it might happen again. But Harry was not going to let anyone know he was scared, especially not Leilani. What would she think of him if she knew that he was possibly suffering from a mental disorder?
Still, even with all these worries going through Harry’s mind, there was the ever present distraction of Leilani’s arm around his shoulders. She was being so good to him, even after how he had acted towards her. He had worried before that if he told her how he felt about her, their friendship would be ruined. But Harry thought now that what he had done instead had almost done the job. If Leilani hadn’t let that ruin their friendship, than surely knowing that he was completely in love with her couldn’t do anything worse? Could it? Either way, he realized now that he had been risking their friendship, which was far too important a thing to throw away. He had to make things right.
“You’re a good friend, you know,” said Harry quietly.
“So are you,” Leilani responded.
“No I’m not,” he said. “But you’re still being a good friend to me even after I wasn’t. I didn’t mean for those things to come out sounding like they did. I was... I’ve been in a bad mood.”
“I never wanted to hurt your feelings. I’m sorry. I really am.”
“Okay.” She took her arm from his shoulders. Harry was disappointed, but tried not to show it. “I think this is some kind of record, us having a conflict for almost four whole days.”
“It wasn’t very conflicty though,” commented Harry.
“No. But still unpleasant.”
“Yeah,” agreed Harry. He soon found that they had come to another silence that he needed to break. “You came in later than Ron and Hermione, didn’t you?”
“Oh, yeah,” said Leilani. “Justin, from my Arithmancy class, wanted to see if I would be study buddies with him this year.”
“Study buddies?” Harry repeated skeptically, momentarily forgetting about his blackout.
“Yep,” nodded Leilani.
“He doesn’t want to study with you.”
“Oh, so I’m not smart enough for people to want to study with me?”
“No, you are, definitely” said Harry quickly. “But you know what all sixteen year olds have on their minds. And looking like you do doesn’t help.”
Leilani grinned momentarily to herself.
“You really don’t think a boy could possibly ask me for help with school without having ulterior motives behind it?”
“Maybe Ron could.”
“So I’m just a pretty face then?” Leilani was not grinning anymore.
“No, I never said that! It’s just those idiots don’t realize you’re a lot more than that.”
“Well Justin isn’t an idiot.”
“You don’t fancy him, do you?” asked Harry.
“Then don’t lead him on.”
“I don’t lead people on!” Leilani loudly insisted.
“Maybe you don’t on purpose,” Harry admitted. Leilani frowned at him. “Apparently you are completely unaware of the effect you have on the male species.”
Leilani did not respond, and the conversation ended there.
“You want to go back now?” Harry asked after awhile.
The next afternoon, Harry told his friends that he was going to go check something out in the library, but instead went to the hospital wing. When he entered, Harry found Madam Pomfrey attending to a young girl who’s hair had somehow been replaced with a patch of fresh grass. He waited at the door while she was applying some sort of powder to the grass, but when she started to head back to her office, he approached her.
“Hello, Mister Potter,” she said. “You haven’t almost drowned again, have you? Oh no, you’re much too dry for that...”
“No, it’s something else. Could I talk to you alone?”
“Certainly, just step into my office.”
Harry followed her in and shut the door behind him. Madam Pomfrey started going through her cabinets, apparently searching for something else for the girl with grass hair.
“Whatever I tell you is in confidence, right? You won’t tell anyone, not even my parents?”
“Of course, Potter.”
“Good,” said Harry, more to himself than her. “In that case... Do you have anything to stop blackouts?”
Madam Pomfrey stopped her search and looked at Harry.
“What kind of blackouts?” she asked curiously.
“Oh, you know,” shrugged Harry. “The ones where you see a bright light and then it’s like you’ve fallen asleep but then you see another bright light and wake up in a completely different place.” Harry tried to say this as quickly and casually as possible. Madam Pomfrey frowned.
“How often does this happen?”
“It’s only happened once,” answered Harry. “Yesterday.”
“I’m afraid I cannot think of anything that might be causing this on the top of my head, but I will look into it.”
“Could it be... mental problems?”
“It could be mental, it could be a curse, it could be something you ate, it could be anything,” she said. “But I will go through my books, see what I can find. Why don’t you come back on Tuesday. Come back and tell me if it happens again.”
“Okay,” sighed Harry, trying not to look too disappointed. “You won’t tell anyone, right?”
“No, Potter, I told you already.”
Both the knowledge that Madam Pomfrey was looking into the blackouts, and the fact that he was on good terms with Leilani again really helped Harry to get through the next few days. As worried as he was about what had happened to him, both of these things provided him with a good amount of comfort. Yes, he still felt bad that Leilani did not return his feelings for her, but he also now realized how much he still valued her as a friend. He decided he had to be more mature about the situation, and successfully avoided doing anything else that would jeopardize their relationship.
On Tuesday, Harry returned to the hospital wing. Unfortunately, the few possibilities that Madam Pomfrey had come up with all came with symptoms that Harry had definitely not experienced, so he left still being in the dark about what had happened to him. Solely to make himself feel better, he repeatedly told himself that it would probably never happen again and he did not have to worry.
Thursday, however, brought another blackout. It happened while Harry was reading his Charms book in the common room, but he suspected that the blackout had been shorter this time because he was in the same place and almost the same position when he came out of it as he had been before. Still, he told himself not to worry.
But then, it happened again. The following Friday night, when Harry was trying to fall asleep in his bed, he saw the bright light and fell unconscious again. This was when he decided that he was going to have to do some research on his own. Starting the next day, he went to the library every day to start looking for answers, always managing to go without his friends. In the first week, however, he found no answers.
The following Friday, Harry was in Transfiguration class, listening to an exceptionally boring lecture about theories on conjuring. Harry figured that he could copy the notes later from Hermione, who was scribbling away furiously in the desk in front of him, so he did not stop himself from paying no attention. He figured that Leilani was planning on doing the same thing, because when he glanced over at her in the next seat, he saw that her eyes were barely open.
Professor McGonagall’s voice tuned out of Harry’s head as a vivid daydream filled it. The daydream was not very complicated at all, as the whole thing consisted of Leilani kissing him passionately, while they rolled around on the floor of the dimly lit and conveniently empty Gryffindor common room. It was during this daydream that Harry experienced yet another blackout.
When Harry saw the second flash of light and woke up, he jumped in his seat and found that he was still in the Transfiguration classroom. His hand was on his forehead, but he immediately put it down, wondering why it had been there.
“Why’d you say that?” Leilani whispered in Harry’s ear. Harry’s eyes immediately met hers. She looked confused.
I said something!?
“Let’s talk after class,” Harry whispered back, hoping desperately that he would be able to think of a good excuse for saying whatever he had said.
After class, Ron and Hermione announced that they had to go to a prefects meeting, so Harry and Leilani were left alone. They decided to go outside to get some fresh air, before it got dark and before they would have to go eat dinner.
“So why’d you say that?” asked Leilani as they headed towards the lake.
“What was it I said that you were wondering about?” Harry tried to ask this as casually as possible.
“Oh no, not again, I think it was. And why were you rubbing your forehead?”
“Erm...” Harry thought for a moment. “Well, I thought I was getting a headache. I got one the other night so that’s why I said that.”
“You could have told me that during class, you know.”
“I know,” said Harry, while trying to think of a good excuse for why he didn’t. “But... I might have distracted Hermione from her notes, and we’re both going to need them.”
“Right,” laughed Leilani. They had reached the edge of the lake by now. Leilani sat down on the grass in front of it, and Harry followed suit.
“So, how’s your studying with Justin going?” asked Harry.
“Just fine,” answered Leilani. “Other than that time when he tried to lean in for the kiss.”
Harry almost yelled in outrage, but thought better of it.
“Are you serious?”
“Oh good,” said Harry, before he could stop himself.
“Oh good?” repeated Leilani, with a slight grin on her face.
“Er, yeah, I don’t think he’s good for you.”
“Oh really?” Leilani raised her eyebrows at him.
“No, I don’t.”
“Er...” Harry’s mouth was becoming uncomfortably dry. He had no good reason other than ‘I’m the only one who’s right for you!' “I don’t know, he just isn’t. You need a Gryffindor, not all these Hufflepuffs.”
“You’re jealous,” Leilani said teasingly, still grinning at him. Harry was unable to respond. He wished a hole would open up in the grass and swallow him. No hole appeared however. Harry was just going to have to pretend that this statement had no effect on him.
“Protective, more like,” said Harry.
“I am not jealous!” Harry insisted. “Why would I be jealous?”
“I wasn’t serious,” laughed Leilani.
“Right,” muttered Harry.
“Harry?” said Leilani, after a short silence in which they watched a couple birds flying low over the lake.
“Can you tell me why you were in such a bad mood a few weeks ago?” she asked. Harry’s stomach clenched uncomfortably.
“Er... yeah,” he answered, despite still not wanting to tell her.
“Hermione said something to me when we were at Diagon Alley,” Harry explained, figuring that it wasn’t a lie even if he was going to leave out an important detail. “It upset me. I was still thinking about it when we got back to school, so...”
Leilani looked away from the birds and into Harry’s eyes.
“Seriously? It was just Hermione that upset you?”
“You’re telling the truth?”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t lie to you.”
“It wasn’t anything else?”
This somehow seemed to make Leilani happy. As they continued sitting there quietly, she couldn’t stop grinning to herself. Harry could tell she was trying not to. In the silence, Harry’s thoughts went back to their conversation about Justin. He knew Leilani felt nothing for him, but he was still developing the strong urge to go curse him.
Harry’s thoughts about which jinx he should use on Justin were interrupted by something that made his heart nearly stop. His hand was lying limply on the grass next to him, and he felt fingers finding their way on top of it. Harry’s heart went from almost stopping to beating way too quickly. He looked down at his hand. Leilani’s hand was all the way on top of it. If Leilani did not return his feelings, why was she attempting to hold his hand?
Harry looked at her with his mouth hanging open. Leilani was staring determinedly at a tree a couple feet away from them.
“What’re you doing?” he asked quietly, hardly realizing he was saying anything. Leilani’s eyes snapped to his. After just a moment, they widened, almost looking horrified.
“Oh no...” She took her hand from his and her face turned bright red. Before Harry could stop her, Leilani got to her feet and spoke very quickly. She looked extremely embarrassed. “I’m sorry, Harry. I’ll see you later.”
“Leilani!” Harry called after her as she ran off. She did not stop. He put his hands over his face. “You idiot...”
Once Harry got over his anger towards himself for saying anything to Leilani and ruining the moment, a wonderful feeling filled his whole body and a big smile spread across his face. He was unable to stop himself from stomping his feet and then proceeding to roll around on the grass in excitement.
She is so completely in love with me!
Harry realized now that Leilani must have been lying to Hermione. Sure, he had felt bad for nearly four weeks because of it, but now... He had never realized that life was so beautiful! Harry stood up, shook out his robes to get all the grass off of them, and ran back to the castle, determined to find Leilani as quickly as possible and give her a big kiss.
July 2nd, 2005, 1:40 am
Leilani continued running and did not stop until she had reached her room in Gryffindor Tower, where she collapsed on her bed, panting. She could not remember the last time she had felt so embarrassed. To Leilani it seemed that in the past week or so, Harry had been gradually approaching the amount of flirtation that he had shown in the summer, which meant that she had gradually been starting to think that maybe he did like her as more than a friend after all. And just now, by the lake, Harry had seemed very jealous of Justin, and he had admitted that his bad mood had only been about Hermione. She thought that all of this was as good as proof that she had been jumping to conclusions about Harry’s feelings back in the first days of school.
But just now...
“What’re you doing?”
Leilani’s insides writhed as she relived the moment. Harry had looked genuinely shocked. She knew the moment she looked at him that she had done the wrong thing. How was she ever going to face him again? Leilani blinked her tears away, worrying that Hermione might come in and see her.
Much of her wanted to stay and sulk in bed for the rest of the day, but, taking a deep breath, Leilani decided that she better go down for dinner so she wouldn’t starve, and so her friends would not suspect that something was wrong. When she arrived in the Great Hall, she found Harry, Ron, and Hermione already there. Leilani sat next to Hermione, carefully avoiding Harry’s eyes from across the table.
“Hi, Leilani,” said Hermione, taking a pause from some discussion she was having with Ron about their meeting. “Where’ve you been?”
“You should try the chicken, it’s really good tonight,” Hermione told her, and then she went back to talking to Ron. Leilani loaded her plate and began eating without looking up.
“Leilani?” Harry said quietly. She did not answer. “Can I talk to you after dinner? Alone?”
“Come on. Just for two minutes.”
“There’s nothing to talk about,” muttered Leilani, glancing over at Ron and Hermione to make sure they were still distracted.
“Yes there is,” Harry responded.
“No, there isn’t. Can we just forget it?”
She looked up at his face finally, and saw him looking almost desperately at her.
“I know what you’re going to say.”
“No you don’t!”
“What are you guys talking about?” asked Ron.
“Nothing,” said Harry and Leilani at the same time.
“Nothing?” repeated Ron.
“Nothing important,” Harry added.
Leilani managed to avoid being alone with Harry for the rest of the day. And miraculously, she was able to do it for the next several days as well. She always went to bed early, she was always ready to occupy herself with homework, reading, or with talking to Hermione, whom she acted very cheerful around in order to avoid questions. She could see that Harry was very frustrated about this, but she did not care. Leilani knew what he was going to say to her. Something to the effect of “I really value you as a friend and even though I don’t feel the same way, I don’t want your feelings for me to ruin that.” She was not ready to have that conversation.
Harry, whose obvious frustration and annoyance eventually turned into constant amusement, stayed obnoxiously persistent. Leilani learned that she always had to have a second excuse ready, because if he ever saw that she was not occupied, he would try to ask her to talk alone with him. Starting Monday when they were back in classes, he insisted on sending her notes during every class they had together, always asking her the same question.
On Wednesday morning, Leilani and the rest of her class were on the way out of Defense Against the Dark Arts, when Harry fell in step with her and asked to speak with her once again, even though she had already refused when he had sent her a note twenty minutes earlier.
“No! How many times do I have to tell you?”
“You’re going to feel really, really stupid when I finally do get a chance to talk to you.”
“I am not!”
“Oh yes you are. I can’t wait to see the look on your face,” smiled Harry. Leilani glared at him. She was about to respond, when she heard her father calling for her.
“Leilani! Can I see you for a moment?”
“See you later,” Harry grinned pleasantly, and he left the classroom with Ron and Hermione. Leilani turned around and went back to her father.
“I need you to go into Hogsmeade for me tomorrow to buy some grindylow feed,” he said, as he pulled out a piece of parchment and a quill.
“First of all, I’m not allowed into Hogsmeade by myself on a weekday, and secondly, why would you want to keep grindylows alive?”
“I’m covering grindylows with the third years and I’m almost out of food for them. I don’t want them to die. I’m writing you a note to get into Hogsmeade for the day, I already checked it with Dumbledore.”
“Why don’t you go?” asked Leilani, despite being pleased that she was being asked to do this.
“I’m very busy,” he answered.
“Then why don’t you send out an order for it?”
“I want to be one hundred percent sure that I get the right thing. And just between you and me, I thought you might like to get out for a bit. You’re sixteen, no harm in that.”
“Oh. Thanks, Dad.”
“No problem. Just make sure you go tomorrow, because I’m dating this as the first of October.” Leilani nodded and her father began his note, dictating as he wrote. “I, Sirius Black... give permission... to Leilani Black... and Harry Potter...”
“What?” Leilani loudly interrupted his dictation.
He looked up from his note.
“I’m not letting you go alone! I want you to take Harry. You’ll have fun. Is there a problem?”
“No, but... can’t I take Hermione?” asked Leilani.
“No,” he said, still writing the note. “I have to send you with a boy.”
“No you don’t!”
“I know you are perfectly capable of protecting yourself, Lei, but I’d still feel safer this way. You are taking Harry. Here you go.”
Leilani took the note from her father and turned to leave the room.
“You can spend a little time in town, but make sure not to stay out too late.”
“We won’t,” she said, thinking that if she had to take Harry, she would be making the trip as short as possible.
Leilani went to lunch, and when she was almost done eating, she told Harry about her conversation with her father.
“Excellent!” smiled Harry. “We’ll have a chance to talk.”
“We don’t need to talk.”
“Yes we do.”
“No we don’t.”
“Yes we do.”
“No we don’t.”
“Yes we do.”
Leilani groaned, deciding to give it up.
“Never mind. Let’s meet at the front gates then, after our afternoon classes are over,” Leilani said. She had Potions, which Harry was not in, so she figured this made the most sense.
“Leilani, we should be going,” said Hermione, who until then had been arguing with Ron about letting him copy her Transfiguration notes from the last Friday.
“Bye, Harry,” mumbled Leilani, and she and Hermione got up to go to their Arithmancy class.
“Have fun studying with Justin!” Harry called after her.
But Leilani’s study session with Justin that afternoon was not very fun at all. Halfway through their hour in the library, Justin, who had been rather quiet the whole time, changed the subject from Arithmancy.
“Leilani?” whispered Justin.
“Can I tell you something?”
“Er... okay,” shrugged Leilani, as she scanned a page of notes.
“Okay... the thing is...” Justin sounded rather nervous. Leilani looked up at him from her notes. She was getting a bad feeling about where this was going. “I... I want to be honest with you. I’ve kind of... liked you... for awhile. Like as more than a friend. I thought you should know.”
Leilani let her head fall on to her open Arithmancy book. Harry had been right.
“Leilani?” Justin’s voice sounded alarmed. She lifted her head, and tried to grin at him. It came out more like a grimace. “Are you okay?”
“Fine, I’m fine.”
“Okay. Well... I just thought I should tell you.”
“I’m flattered,” lied Leilani. “But the feeling isn’t mutual. I’m really sorry.”
Justin nodded, looking even more uncomfortable than before.
“I never really expected you to,” muttered Justin, picking up his quill again and going back to his notes. Leilani tried to fix her face into a sympathetic expression.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “You’re really nice and all, but...”
“There’s someone else?”
“Yeah,” sighed Leilani. “But he doesn’t like me back either.”
“I bet you’re wrong,” said Justin. “You’re too... likable.”
Rather than comforting her, this just annoyed Leilani.
“Can you tell me one thing?” she asked. “And be honest?”
“Is this the only reason you wanted to study with me?” Leilani hoped very much that the answer would be no. Justin looked very much like he did not want to respond. “Please tell me.”
“Yeah,” mumbled Justin. He looked slightly ashamed. Leilani could not look at him in the eyes anymore.
“Right,” nodded Leilani, her voice shaking slightly. “Then I don’t think we should study together anymore if you never really thought I was study buddy material.”
Leilani quickly packed her book bag and left the library. All she could think about was the warning Harry had given her weeks before. Justin just thought she was a pretty face, he had never really thought Leilani was a good person to study with. She had hardly talked to him before they started studying together, how could he have possibly taken interest in her for any other reason? Leilani was convinced that there was none. Feeling very depressed, she reminded herself that the person who knew her best, the person who she was sure would love everything about her, inside and out, had already rejected her.
These thoughts were still on Leilani’s mind as she made her way through the grounds of Hogwarts to meet Harry the next afternoon. As she got nearer to the gates, she saw that Harry was already there. She braced herself for the unpleasant conversation that would inevitably follow once she reached him. Harry had a big grin on his face when Leilani arrived at the gates.
“Let’s hear it, then,” she said, before Harry could speak. “Leilani, you’re such a good friend, and while I don’t return your feelings, I still want us to best friends forever. You’re like a sister to me!”
To Leilani’s horror, her eyes were starting to water.
“Funny you should say that,” commented Harry. Leilani could have punched him for looking so amused. She thought maybe her father’s private lessons would come in handy after all. “Because Hermione told me that you said I’m like a brother to you.”
“She did,” nodded Harry.
“Well you should be like a brother to me. But you lead me on! You know you did!”
“And very successfully,” smiled Harry. Leilani called him a very nasty word that Hermione would have scolded her for calling him. Harry just laughed. “Are you going to let me say what I want to say?”
“Fine,” grumbled Leilani.
“Good. Let’s get straight to the point.”
Leilani received a huge shock at what he did next. She could hardly believe it was happening, but it most definitely was. Any bitterness she felt towards Harry melted away, and all she felt now was happiness.
He is so completely in love with me!
When Harry finally stopped kissing her, Leilani spoke quietly, her cheeks burning.
“I feel so stupid...”
July 5th, 2005, 7:46 am
Even though that last one was the part we've all been waiting for, the story will be going on for a little bit longer. I'm going to have a few more chapters- which inevitably will be mostly full of fluff- but the main reason is so I can tie this into Escape a little more. Fun stuff. (I hope.)
Oh, and this will definitely be finished before Half-Blood Prince comes out.
It was a little hard to believe that one simple action could change so much, but after Harry kissed Leilani, after all these months, everything changed. Suddenly both of them felt so happy they could not stop smiling. Suddenly, they could be completely open with each other. And suddenly, Harry was fairly sure that Leilani Black was going to be his girlfriend for as long as she would possibly have him. Harry could have kicked himself for not making a move back in August when they had been spending so much time together; it had been so easy just now, and everything seemed perfect. Leilani verbalized this same thought to Harry, about wishing she had acted sooner. She also apologized for her lie, the one that Hermione had told him about, and swore that she would never tell a lie again for as long as she lived. Harry highly doubted she could keep this promise, but he accepted the apology easily.
It took quite awhile for Harry and Leilani to get down the path to Hogsmeade, because in their excitement, neither of them could resist kissing the other whenever there was even the slightest pause in conversation. Eventually they did get to town, however, where they bought the grindylow feed for Sirius first thing. They spent some time after that going through many of the shops in Hogsmeade. Awhile after the sun had set, they decided to go into The Three Broomsticks before they headed back to Hogwarts. They bought some butterbeers and got a table in the corner, where they ended up happily chatting (and kissing) for a few hours.
Somewhere around their third or fourth round of butterbeers, Harry was tapped on the shoulder by Madam Rosmerta.
“Sorry to interrupt you two lovebirds,” she grinned. Harry felt himself blush slightly. “But it’s closing time.”
“Closing time?” repeated Harry.
“Don’t you stay open late?” asked Leilani.
“Yes, we do,” answered Madam Rosmerta. “It’s almost one in the morning.”
Harry checked his watch, and sure enough, it was five minutes to one. He and Leilani both swore loudly. They thanked Madam Rosmerta, grabbed their bags and hurried out of The Three Broomsticks. They ran all the way back up the path to Hogwarts until they reached the gates, which they discovered were closed. Leilani tried to open it, but the gates were locked.
“Alohamora!” Harry had pulled out his wand and tried this spell in hopes that it would unlock the gate.
“Yeah, that’ll do it,” said Leilani sarcastically. “Hogwarts is too well protected for that to work.”
“I know, I just thought I’d try,” said Harry. They both looked up at the towering gate silently, wondering what they were going to do.
“It’s a shame these bars are so close together,” commented Leilani as she inspected them. “If only we could squeeze through...”
“I wish we knew how to Apparate,” said Harry, leaning on one of the winged boar statues in front of the gates.
“You can’t Apparate on Hogwarts grounds, didn’t Hermione ever tell you?”
“We’re locked out,” sighed Leilani.
“I guess we’re going to have to keep each other warm tonight,” smiled Harry. Leilani let out a quiet laugh, but then she started looking into the distance, towards the Hogwarts lake.
“You don’t suppose there’s another way in?” she muttered, taking a few steps away from the gate. Then, teasingly, she said, “We could always swim back.”
“Very funny,” said Harry. In his second year, Harry had nearly drowned in the lake because of some grindylows, and he had not been back in since. “Besides, we’d freeze to death on the way.”
“Then it looks like we’ll have to settle for keeping each other warm after all.”
“Either that, or we could go back to town and try to find somewhere to floo back from,” suggested Harry.
“Everywhere is closed by now,” said Leilani. “Except maybe the Hog’s Head, but that place gives me the creeps.”
“Then I think we’re stuck.”
“My dad told me too,” Leilani said frustratedly, as she wandered towards a grassy area with a few trees. “Don’t stay out too late! He could have told me that they lock people out at night!”
“You’d think they’d realize we were missing and send people.”
“Yeah. But I bet Hermione and Ron are the only ones who realize we’re gone.”
They found a nice patch of grass, and Harry took off his robes and spread it like a blanket so they could sit on it. Leilani lit a small blue fire with her wand to keep them warm. They sat there silently for a few minutes, but then Harry started laughing, suddenly finding the situation very amusing. Leilani caught his eye, and she laughed too.
“I guess this is why they don’t let students out to Hogsmeade on their own,” said Harry. Leilani nodded in agreement. She then leaned over and kissed him, making him feel like the fire she had lit was very unnecessary. Leilani pulled back, grinned at him, and laid down so that her head was close to the fire. Harry followed, and automatically put his arms around her. As he laid there, holding her under the stars, he thought that things had never felt so right in his life. Without even realizing he was doing it until after the fact, Harry let out a happy sigh.
“Happy, Harry?” Leilani giggled.
“Yep,” Harry answered.
“Me too. I can’t believe I was so miserable this morning.”
“Sorry,” laughed Harry.
“No, it was my own fault,” said Leilani. “Besides, there was more than just you.”
“Well, it was mostly you,” Leilani admitted with a laugh. “But yesterday, Justin told me he has feelings for me, and he admitted that was the only reason he asked to study with me. It was kind of depressing.”
Harry’s first instinct was to say “Told you so!” but he resisted the urge.
“Only you would think that having someone fancy you was depressing,” he said instead.
“It’s depressing because he doesn’t like me for any good reason!”
“Like all the reasons I do?” grinned Harry. In the moonlight, he could see her grinning too. “Well still, you can’t blame him. You’re gorgeous. Poor guy can’t help it.”
“Thank you, but I wish people would stop saying that,” said Leilani, but he could tell she was trying not to smile.
“If you’re going to let me be your boyfriend, then it’s my duty to tell you that!”
“If I let you?”
This is where they took a short break from their conversation.
“You know, my dad is going to be thrilled when he finds out about us,” sighed Leilani. Harry, who felt once again that her blue fire had no purpose in being there, thought about this statement for a few moments before responding.
“Maybe... Maybe we shouldn’t tell him.”
Leilani stared at him curiously.
“You’re not embarrassed, are you?”
“No! No, definitely not!” Harry answered quickly. “But... Maybe we shouldn’t tell anyone. Because if we tell anyone, your dad will find out, and he’ll tell my parents and...”
“Actually, them not knowing sounds like a nice idea,” admitted Leilani. “You know they’ll be planning our wedding the second they find out.”
“Yeah,” agreed Harry. “And also... er... Christmas.”
Leilani’s eyes widened.
“We won’t get a second alone if they know,” she gasped.
“And forget about sharing a room.”
“Oh, I know what you’re thinking, Harry,” laughed Leilani.
“I am not thinking that!” Harry stated loudly,
“Well if you know what I’m talking about, then you obviously are,” said Leilani teasingly.
“Anyway! The point is, even if all we want to do is talk late into the night like we always do, our parents won’t let it happen if they know we’re...”
Leilani finished Harry’s sentence.
“Right. Because in their minds, anything we get up to without their supervision has to be bad.”
“We’re so sneaky,” giggled Leilani.
“We might make decent Slytherins,” commented Harry.
Although the ground was uncomfortably hard and the robes they were lying on were becoming increasingly damp from the grass, they somehow managed to fall asleep after an hour or two. They were woken up by the sun shining in their eyes, and when they did, they found the gates open again. Laughing again about the whole situation, they made their way up to the castle, and decided to go back up to Gryffindor Tower so they could change clothes. When they arrived, they found Hermione about to march out of the common room to go report Harry and Leilani as missing to Professor Dumbledore, with Ron right behind her. She screamed when she saw them and gave them each a big hug, but only after yelling at them for making her worry. Ron rolled her eyes at Hermione, but he seemed very relieved too.
“Weren’t you scared, though?” asked Hermione as they walked down to get breakfast, once Leilani and Harry had changed.
“Scared?” said Harry. “Not really.”
“You do realize that last night was a full moon, don’t you? There could have been werewolves out there!”
“We didn’t even notice,” shrugged Leilani.
“Where were your minds last night?” laughed Ron. “Not even noticing the full moon when you’re stuck outside, unprotected?”
Harry and Leilani, who were walking on either side of Hermione, caught each others eyes. They both tried not to grin.
“I don’t know,” said Leilani. Harry had a feeling, and a hope, that she was about to break that promise about never lying again. “We were too concentrated on trying to figure out if we could get back in, I guess. And then once we realized we couldn’t, we were just trying to stay warm and get comfortable.”
“It must have been miserable out there,” said Hermione sympathetically. “I mean, camping is fun if you’re prepared with a sleeping bag and a tent and all. But you were all alone in the cold, having to sleep on the ground when you could have been up here in your nice warm beds...”
“It’s too bad we haven’t learned to conjure anything useful yet,” said Ron. “A lot of good a button will do you out in the cold.”
“Yeah, I know. It was pretty bad,” said Leilani convincingly.
“It was pretty terrible,” lied Harry. “No fun at all...”
July 6th, 2005, 8:11 am
The next couple of months were some of Leilani’s best at Hogwarts. She and Harry stuck to their plan and told nobody about their relationship, although Leilani thought that Hermione might have suspected something despite saying nothing. The only thing they ever did when people were around was play footsie under the table during meals, but nobody could see this happening. It was frustrating at times not to be able to hold hands in the halls or kiss while others were around, but somehow having to wait for it made it that much better whenever they would finally get a moment alone together. They always had fun trying to come up with new ways to sneak off and find an empty classroom or corridor, and they had never been so thankful that Ron and Hermione had prefect duties to keep them busy much of the time.
When the first week of November came, so did their first Hogsmeade trip of the year. Leilani found out from her father about a week before that he was going to skip the trip, due to some extra work that had come up. She became very excited about this trip, since there would be absolutely no chance of her father being around. The only problem would be getting away from Ron and Hermione.
When Leilani, Harry, Hermione, and Ron left for Hogsmeade that morning, she still had no plan in mind about how she was going to get any time alone with Harry. She had never been separated from Hermione during a Hogsmeade trip since her first time going, excepting the couple of times she had gone off with Cedric while they had been dating.
As they walked down the path to Hogsmeade, Harry and Ron, who were excitedly discussing their upcoming Quidditch match versus Slytherin, started lagging behind Hermione and Leilani, who were busy talking about the latest potion they had made in Snape’s class. But Hermione changed the subject quickly once they were out of earshot of the boys.
“Leilani?” Hermione said quietly, glancing behind her.
“Were you playing footsie this morning with Harry?”
Leilani did not answer right away.
“Yeah,” she mumbled slowly. Hermione grinned.
“Did you really think I wouldn’t figure it out?”
“Well, no, I thought you looked suspicious the other day-”
“When you two got the sudden urge to go the library to research for our Defense essays?”
“And when I went to the library to join you guys, you weren’t there and Madam Pince said you never had been?”
“Oh no,” Leilani gasped, and then laughed.
“You were lying to me, weren’t you? When you said you didn’t like him back?”
“Then I guess Harry must have told you that I told him you said that?” Hermione said, almost cringing. Leilani nodded. “Well at least he mustn’t have taken it as seriously as I thought...”
“He did though,” sighed Leilani. “It kind of delayed things for awhile. He thought I didn’t like him, I thought he didn’t like me, then I did, then he did, then I didn’t...”
“I’m so sorry!” said Hermione, sounding and looking like she really meant it. “I never would have told him if I had known.”
“It’s okay,” Leilani responded. “Everything’s fine now.”
“No, I shouldn’t have meddled in your business. I thought I should try to prevent him from making a move if he really did fancy you. I knew it would break his heart, but I thought it would’ve been so much worse if it was you that told him.”
“I know why you did it,” said Leilani. “But it’s my fault, really.”
“I’m still really sorry though,” Hermione repeated.
“All right, you’re forgiven,” grinned Leilani. Hermione glanced back at Harry and Ron as they got closer to Hogsmeade. They were still involved in their Quidditch talk.
“You’re going to want some time alone, then?”
“Er, yeah,” Leilani said quietly. “Just so you know, we’ve only been keeping it secret ‘cause we don’t want our parents to find out. We won’t get any time alone during Christmas if they know.”
“Ahh,” said Hermione knowingly. “I understand. Are you going to be at his house this year?”
“Yep,” nodded Leilani. They walked down the path and past the Hogsmeade train station silently. Leilani could almost see Hermione’s brain working.
“I’ll take care of it,” smiled Hermione. “Just remember, you don’t want to go into Zonko’s this time.”
An hour later, the four of them were leaving Honeydukes, and Hermione put her plan into action. It worked like a charm.
“You know,” said Hermione thoughtfully, gazing down the street towards the joke shop. “I’ve always thought that Zonko’s was a bit silly, but I don’t think I’ve ever really thoroughly looked at what they have to offer. They might have something funnier that those Dungbombs you two are always buying.”
“They do, Hermione,” said Ron, looking surprised but pleased. “I can show you, they have some other great stuff!”
“Oh, I don’t want to go to Zonko’s!” groaned Leilani, as she caught Harry’s eye and gave him a meaningful look.
“I don’t really feel like it either,” said Harry. Leilani was extremely glad that he had caught on.
“Oh, come on, Harry!” Ron whined.
“I went there when Leilani and I came to Hogsmeade last month, I don’t need anything.”
“Well,” said Hermione. “How about Ron and I go to Zonko’s, Harry and Leilani go do whatever they want, and we can meet back in The Three Broomsticks in an hour and a half?”
“That sounds okay to me,” said Leilani, trying to sound casual. Ron agreed, and after Hermione winked at her, Leilani was left alone with Harry. Smiling widely at each other, they started heading down the street, talking about where they should go.
“I don’t know about you,” said Harry. “But as long as we’re alone for the first time in two days, I’d rather do something else besides shopping.”
“Of course, what do you think I wanted to do?” Leilani bit her lip and looked all around, trying to get an idea about where to go. “Oh! There’s an alley up here!”
“Ooh, sounds romantic,” laughed Harry, but he followed her. They soon found themselves behind some shops in the deserted alley, and they wasted no time in grabbing each other and starting to kiss.
Leilani leaned back on a wall, her arms still around Harry, enjoying herself very much. She felt a sudden spurt of boldness, and decided to take her hands from his shoulders and stick them in the back pockets of his jeans. This seemed to be perfectly okay with Harry.
After a few minutes, however, Harry did something that made her think that maybe everything was not okay. Very suddenly, his lips stopped moving, and his whole body became very tense. She pulled her lips away from his and stared at him. The way he was looking at her was very strange- it was as if he had never seen her before.
“Whagihans!” Harry exclaimed in a high pitched and very nervous sounding voice. Leilani did not know how to react at first.
“What’s wrong, Harry?” she asked gently, deciding to take her hands out of his pockets, just in case that was the problem, and settle for rubbing his back.
“Nyawhahuh,” Harry said, staring at her with extremely wide eyes. He looked from side to side, as if looking for an escape. But Leilani knew that couldn’t have been what he was doing. It made no sense.
Then, it occurred to her. Leilani hadn’t told him that her father would not be in Hogsmeade that weekend.
“Oh, I know. You’re worried,” Leilani said, “But Dad won’t find out. He said he had some work to finish and he wouldn’t be coming to Hogsmeade this weekend. It’s not like him, but hey, it’s good for us!”
“Er... er... are you... er... sure...” Harry paused, and his eyes briefly lowered. “Leilani?”
“Of course. Why are you so nervous anyway? Usually you get so into it that you don’t-”
But Leilani stopped talking, because Harry’s whole body gave a sudden jerk, as if he had been surprised by something. He ripped his hands from her waist, took a few clumsy steps backwards, and stared at her. He looked almost fearful.
“What is it?” Leilani asked worriedly.
“Oh my god,” Harry moaned, putting his hands over his face. Leilani stared at him.
“What is wrong? One minute you’re worried about my dad finding us, and the next you’re looking at me like... like that?”
Harry pulled his hands down.
“I... I just...” He hesitated before continuing. “I just remembered... I didn’t turn in an important homework assignment for Care of Magical Creatures.”
“That’s it?” Leilani asked disbelievingly. Harry nodded vigorously.
“That’s all,” he said. “Sorry if I worried you.”
“It’s okay,” she said slowly. “Do you want to go back and turn it in?”
“No!” Harry said quickly. “No, no, we’re not finished here.”
He smiled at her. Leilani frowned at him, thinking that there was probably something else he wasn’t telling her. But she decided not to force anything out of him. She didn’t want to ruin their time together, after all. So Leilani smiled back at him.
“No, we’re not done,” she agreed. Harry made quick work of putting his arms around her again, and within minutes Leilani had forgotten, for the time being, that anything out of the ordinary had happened.
In case you want to see the corresponding chapter in Escape again just for fun, here's a link: LINK! (http://www.cosforums.com/showpost.php?p=746517&postcount=14) :)
July 9th, 2005, 3:17 am
One week after the Hogsmeade trip was the first Quidditch match of the year, Gryffindor versus Slytherin. Harry had never felt so nervous going into a Quidditch match since his very first game as his team’s Seeker four years earlier. He now sat in the Captain’s office, ignoring the many scattered sheets of parchment outlining strategies, and was instead sitting there with his forehead lying on the desk in front of him. Sure, Ginny had gotten on the team, so that meant that they now had three Firebolts to use to their advantage, but there was something else. The reason he felt such jitters was because of the blackout he had experienced the week before.
Since Leilani had become his girlfriend over a month ago, Harry had stopped looking for an answer to the blackouts, even though they still occurred weekly. He never even came close to discovering what was causing them, and after nearly two months of them happening, Harry had started to notice trends that made him worry less. They always seemed to happen when he was not taking part in any major activity, instead, they took place when he was relaxed. They tended to happen when he was lying on his bed, falling asleep in class, or reading a book.
But last week, it had happened right in the middle of kissing Leilani. Not only had he been mortified that it had happened in front of her (although after he made excuses, she seemed to think nothing of it), but he realized something very scary. These blackouts could happen anywhere, any time. And that included when he was in the air riding a broom.
Therefore, he was very worried about this game, because he had no idea what would happen if it occurred again while he was up there. He knew from what Leilani said that he apparently spoke during these blackouts, but he did not know if he would be able to hold on to his broom during one. It was completely out of his control. What scared him the most was that he had not had a blackout since the one with Leilani, and judging by the weekly timing of all the past ones, the next would be coming at any time.
Therefore, when Harry finally left the office and went out onto the field, his hands shaking as he gripped his Firebolt, he made a fierce determination that this was going to be the fastest game of Quidditch he had ever played. He was going to search for the Snitch like he never had before, so he could get off his broom as soon as he possibly could.
After getting yelled at by Madam Hooch for staying in the changing room for too long and delaying the start of the game by ten minutes, Harry kicked off into the air and the game began. He flew above the rest of the players, circling the pitch, his eyes darting in every direction. He didn’t even pay attention to the rest of the game like he usually did, he just ignored the commentary and searched, begging himself at the same time not to fall unconscious unexpectedly.
And then, after barely five minutes, Harry saw a glint of gold. A happy rush of gratitude towards the Snitch went through his body as he soared towards the bottom of the goal post Ron was guarding. He dodged both Bludgers and two Slytherin chasers on the way down. When he reached the bottom of the goal post, the Snitch flew quickly up and to the left, so Harry abruptly turned his Firebolt and raced up to Snitch. He did a kind of spin in the air when it tried to dodge his reach again, but Harry caught it. The match was over.
Harry made a quick landing on the ground, accompanied by earsplitting screams from the Gryffindor crowd. He could hardly believe how perfectly the game had gone. He was safe, and what was more, he had finished the game faster than he ever had before.
“Five minutes!” yelled Ron excitedly as he touched down next to Harry. “You caught it in five minutes! That was brilliant!”
Harry soon found himself being ushered out of the stadium by the excited Gryffindor crowd. He spotted Hermione and Leilani behind him, both of them smiling widely at him. He would have liked nothing more than to break away from the crowd and give Leilani a big kiss, but he resisted the urge and decided to save it for later.
Once they reached the castle, Harry had a feeling that the Gryffindors were going to try to get him to come up and celebrate for the rest of the day, but he insisted loudly on going back to the Great Hall and getting lunch since he had not eaten breakfast. He also hoped that this way, he could somehow make a quick getaway with Leilani before he would be trapped in the celebration.
“I wish you could have seen yourself!” exclaimed Ron loudly over the chatter of the surrounding crowd of Gryffindors who had also decided to go get lunch. “You were so fast! And those sharp turns! You need to teach me how to get the most out of my Firebolt, Harry.”
“Sure, any time!” Harry smiled.
“You know, Harry,” continued Ron. “I reckon we can get the cup again this year, if you keep playing like that. I don’t know what you were doing, but if you keep it up, the cup is-”
Harry did not hear the rest of what Ron said, because he saw the familiar bright flash of white light that he had been dreading so much during the game. Everything went black.
When the second flash came, and Harry regained consciousness, he found himself sitting down in a chair, still wearing his Quidditch robes. He looked up, and saw that he was in Sirius’ office. Sirius was sitting behind his desk, looking at Harry with a very concerned look on his face.
“Yes, of course they’re alive, Harry,” Sirius said quietly and slowly. Harry stared at him blankly. What had he been saying? And why was he in Sirius’ office? Sirius continued speaking when Harry did not respond. “Does this have something to do with your nightmare again?”
“My night-?” Harry stopped himself from continuing. He had to act like everything was normal, like he knew exactly what was going on and what they were talking about. “Yeah, that’s all. They were dead in my nightmare.”
Harry nodded, trying to look convincing. He then stood up.
“I have to go, Sirius. See you later.” Harry turned and walked towards the door.
“It was nice talking to you Harry,” Sirius called after him. “And try not to dwell on it, okay?”
“Sure,” Harry nodded, wondering what on earth he was talking about. He left the office, and started climbing back up to Gryffindor Tower.
Harry realized, as he went up the first staircase, that he was shaking all over. How long had he been out this time? He was pretty sure that the blackouts were always short, since he was always in the same location when he woke up, but this was the first time since the initial blackout that he had woken up somewhere else.
And what was all this business about a nightmare? Who was alive, and why had he been asking Sirius about it? But most importantly, what was happening to him? Harry had not felt this worried since the second or third time he had blacked out.
Harry became so involved in his worried thoughts that he literally ran into Leilani, who he had not noticed was approaching him.
“There you are!” she said happily. “I’ve been looking all over for you and finally decided to go ask Dad since you left the hall with him.”
Harry simply nodded. He was finding it hard to speak. Leilani’s smile turned into a frown.
“Are you okay, Harry?”
“I’m fine,” he said quietly, and he began to walk again with Leilani by his side.
“Are you sure?”
“It’s just that-” Leilani paused. “I hate to bring this up, but that look on your face, it’s exactly how you looked a couple months ago when you were worried about... whatever that was.”
“Oh,” said Harry.
“That’s all you have to say?”
“Yeah,” said Harry, as they went up another staircase. “Leilani, what time is it?”
Leilani took a hold of Harry’s wrist and looked at his watch.
“It’s almost five o’clock,” she answered.
Harry froze at the top of the stairs. He had been unconscious for five hours? To his horror, he felt himself tearing up and his hands were starting to tremble again.
“Harry!” Leilani took him by the arms and forced him to sit down on the top step with her. “What is wrong?”
Harry opened his mouth to tell her that nothing was wrong, but he realized it was pointless.
“Please tell me, Harry,” said Leilani, putting her arm around him. “You can tell me anything, you know that, don’t you?”
“It’s just... I think I’m sick,” he said shakily.
“Sick? Do you have a fever?” Leilani put her hand to his forehead. “You feel okay.”
“No, it’s... I...”
Leilani stared at him, waiting for him to continue.
“More headaches,” mumbled Harry, looking down at his knees instead of her.
“Yeah, but they aren’t normal ones. They... they’re hard to explain. They make me all...” Harry shook his head. He wasn’t going to try to make anything more up, and he still was not going to admit what was really happening to him.
“But... why’d you react like that when I told you what time it was?”
Harry’s heart began to beat quickly out of nervousness.
“Er... Usually they go away quickly, but they...” Harry glanced up at Leilani. She was staring at him with her brows furrowed and her mouth slightly open.
“I lose all sense of time when I get them,” he said, actually telling the truth this time. “I didn’t realize it had been there so long.”
“You should go to Madam Pomfrey,” Leilani told him.
“I already have,” Harry said.
“She, er, she gave me some stuff for it,” he lied. “I have it upstairs. But don’t worry about me. I’m better now, I just need to take it once I get upstairs.”
“Don’t tell me not to worry about you, you’re my-” Leilani looked behind her and lowered her voice. “You’re my boyfriend, of course I’m going to worry about you. But if it’s under control-”
“It is,” interrupted Harry.
“That’s really all it is?” Leilani asked. Harry nodded. He felt bad about lying to her, but a voice in his head was telling him that he could not tell her what was really happening. This voice told him that somehow, telling her would ruin everything.
“Yeah, that’s it. And that stuff she gave me really works, I just abandoned it for too long,” he said with a nod. “Could you not mention this to anyone, Leilani? I don’t want people getting all worried about me.”
“Sure, I won’t say anything,” sighed Leilani. “You really had me worried though. Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“I didn’t want to worry you. Or scare you away.”
“You’re so...” She didn’t continue, but shook her head in disbelief. “You can’t scare me away. Face it, Harry, you’re stuck with me for as long as you’ll let me stay. And if that means I have to do some worrying along the way, so be it. I care about you too much.”
Leilani caught his eyes, looking like the matter was settled and there was nothing he could do about it. Harry was suddenly overcome with emotion and couldn’t stop his next words from coming out.
“I love you.”
Leilani’s cheeks turned slightly pink as a small grin appeared on her face.
“I love you too, Harry,” she said quietly, and gave him a quick kiss.
Harry sat there at the top of the steps next to Leilani, with what he was sure was a stupid looking grin on his face, and he suddenly found that he did not feel scared anymore. Yes, the world was playing some sort of mean joke on him, but he was in love, and that seemed to give him strength. He was a Gryffindor after all, he was supposed to be brave, he couldn’t go and have panic attacks every time this happened to him. Harry would just have to continue looking for answers, and not stop until he found one. He would find out what was causing this, and when he did, he would stop it.
But most importantly, he knew that Leilani would always be there for him, through his search and during whatever else might happen. Harry thought, as he sat there with Leilani’s arm around him, that he really could spend the rest of his life with her, however long that would be. And nothing, not even these blackouts, could stop him.
And that's our last chapter from the poor doomed Harry Two. (Is that stuff at the end the meanest bit of fluffiness I've ever written?) One more chapter from Leilani's POV is left.
July 12th, 2005, 9:02 am
“Was that the bell?” gasped Leilani, thinking she had heard a ringing noise from outside the dark abandoned classroom that she and Harry had found to get some privacy.
“Yes,” groaned Harry. “What was that, five minutes we got?”
“Seems like it,” sighed Leilani, and she took her arms from around his shoulders.
“It’s never long enough.”
“No. But of course, we can’t complain too much,” Leilani said as she bent down and picked up her book bag. “We’ll have plenty of time to ourselves in a couple days.”
They looked at each other in the dark and both giggled as they made their way to the door. Leilani put her ear to it so she could listen to the passing students and figure out when they could leave without anyone seeing them.
“I can’t wait,” said Harry dreamily, as he leaned against the wall to watch Leilani listening at the door. “We’re really going to have to keep the act up, though.”
“Yeah, if they make any kind of suggestion about us, act disgusted,” said Leilani. Moments later, she decided that the coast was clear, so they left the classroom and started heading up to Transfiguration. “Oh! Last week, Harry, when you and Ron were in Zonko’s, Hermione and I found this little shop that sells all kinds of chocolates that they don’t even have at Honeydukes. So I loaded up for the holidays.”
“I like chocolate, but I’ll never understand why it excites you so much,” laughed Harry.
“Oh you will, once you try the stuff I got. It’s special chocolate!”
“Yes, you’ll be excited by chocolate too once you’ve tried this kind!”
“If you say so,” laughed Harry. “By the way, did you talk to your dad about the portkey?”
“Yep,” answered Leilani. “He says to meet him in his office tomorrow at a quarter past six. It’ll take you straight home.”
“Good. So much easier than taking the train.”
“Yeah, I know,” Leilani agreed. “Dad and I are taking one around nine.”
They were now approaching their Transfiguration class, and were surrounded by students. Leilani lowered her voice and spoke to Harry again.
“And don’t forget to pack your headache medicine,” she said to him. Leilani thought he would remember by himself, but she told him as a precaution since she had hated seeing him so upset about his headaches the month before.
“Don’t worry,” said Harry, somewhat impatiently. Then, he added quickly, “It’s already packed, anyway. But I haven’t had to use it in awhile, I haven’t gotten one for a few weeks. I think they’ve gone away for good.”
“That’s great,” smiled Leilani, as they stopped in front of the door to their classroom. “So we’ve got everything, then, don’t we? Fake disgust, chocolate, portkeys, and headache medicine.”
“That sounds about right,” Harry laughed as he took the lead into the classroom. “But I doubt I’ll need that last one.”
The rest of the day, and the next one, seemed to fly by for Leilani, and before she knew it, it was almost six o’clock on Friday. She was up in Harry’s dormitory, helping him pack as they talked excitedly about their upcoming break and the two weeks that Leilani’s family would spend at the Potters’ home, just as they had the afternoon before. In their time alone during the past week, this subject had been all they could talk about.
After two hours of packing (there had not been much left to do, but they were always able to distract each other most efficiently), Leilani noticed the time and realized that Harry had to get going.
“Uh oh, let’s go, Harry,” she said, as she rolled off his bed and dragged him up with her. Leilani then looked down at the tightly packed bag at the foot of his bed. “Good thing Hermione’s distracting Ron with prefect stuff, ‘cause why would it take two hours to pack that thing?”
They both laughed.
“Actually, they should probably be back by now,” said Harry. “Ron wanted to say bye after they were done. Maybe I’ll get him to walk with me.”
“Good, then Hermione and I can go get our packing done.”
“Without any diversions,” grinned Harry. He went over to his trunk and took his toothbrush and a few other things off the top of it. He stuffed them into a side pocket on his bag. “This is going to be a great holiday, Leilani, I can feel it. I just know it’s going to be our best Christmas yet.”
Leilani smirked at him.
“That’s just because you think we’re-”
“No!” laughed Harry. “I’m serious.”
“I know you are!”
“Shush! Be quiet, let me finish!”
“Fine, go ahead,” giggled Leilani, as she watched him zip up his bag.
“Thank you. So... you’re supposed to spend this time of year with your loved ones and all, right?”
“And we always do, of course. But it’s different this time.” Harry stood up and threw his bag over his shoulder. “Because you mean something completely different to me then you did last year.”
“And so do you,” said Leilani with a grin.
“You know, Leilani,” Harry began. “This Christmas isn’t going to be all about... you know, the kissing and the... more kissing, and all that. I mean, that’ll be fun, of course. But just the thought of waking up in the morning and seeing you first thing when I roll over is... it sounds nice.”
“I think so too,” Leilani agreed, looking at her feet momentarily instead of at Harry.
“It makes me think... if I could wake up every morning and have you be right there, that would be a good life.”
Leilani could not stop herself from smiling.
“I just realized that you have a hidden mushy side.”
“And I’ve just realized that I can never say anything like that again or else you’ll tease me,” Harry said, turning red in the cheeks but laughing.
“I feel the same way though!” Leilani said.
Leilani went down the dormitory stairs with him, and they found Ron in the common room waiting for him, along with Hermione.
“I’ll see you soon, Leilani,” said Harry.
“Yes you will,” nodded Leilani. “Bye, Harry.”
Hermione joined Leilani at the door to the dormitory stairs after saying goodbye to Harry, and Harry went forward to greet Ron. Leilani thought for a moment that he had suddenly remembered something he forgot to pack, because halfway towards the portrait hole, he stopped walking abruptly and put his hand to his head. But soon he and Ron had left, so she figured it was nothing.
Once he was gone, Leilani looked next to her to see Hermione beaming at her.
“You are so ridiculously in love with him,” she sighed happily.
“I know!” And they both giggled all the way up to their room to finish packing.
That night Leilani and her father took the portkey back home, where they had a late dinner with her mother before going to bed. Although Leilani thought the next day would drag on forever because she was looking forward to seeing Harry again so much, it actually passed surprisingly quickly. Before she knew it, Leilani was standing in front of her mirror with her mother yelling at her from the living room.
“LEILANI! IT’S ALMOST THREE! THEY’RE EXPECTING US!”
“I’LL BE RIGHT THERE, MUM!”
She quickly pulled her hair back into two buns, remembering that Harry had complimented her when she had worn it like that in August, and then pulled on a long black coat. Leilani rushed out of her room, grabbing her wand off her bedside table and stuffing it in her pocket as she left. She met her parents at the front door, who both levitated all their luggage out to the car and piled it in. Soon they were heading down the road towards a street that they always knew to be deserted, where their car could disappear without any muggles seeing.
“Ana,” said Leilani’s father from the driver’s seat, as they made their way down the road. “I think we should talk to Lily and James about our children sharing a room this year. I was thinking that you and Lei could take the guest bedroom instead. I could sleep in Harry’s room.”
“Dad!” Leilani shouted before his wife could answer. “Why?”
“Raging hormones, Leilani. You are both sixteen now. When I was sixteen, sharing a room with a girl would have meant trouble-”
“You think it’s trouble now-” Leilani’s mother interjected.
“-and I know nothing has changed about the way the sixteen year old mind operates since my day. I know you’re very curious at this age, but-”
“Oh, Dad!” shrieked Leilani. “Don’t be disgusting, he’s not even cute! I’m not curious about Harry Potter. He’s my best friend, all we’re going to be doing in there is talking. Like always.”
“I don’t know what you’re thinking, Leilani,” her mother said. “Harry was looking very nice the last time I saw him. I mean, he’s not as conventionally handsome as Cedric, but still, he’s a good looking boy.”
Leilani resisted the urge to yell, “Who cares about conventional?”
“Sorry, I haven’t noticed,” lied Leilani, trying to sound highly offended. “Because my heart still belongs to Cedric Diggory. I don’t know how you can even suggest this.”
“I was afraid of this,” her father sighed. “I was afraid you might still be hung up on him.”
“And why shouldn’t I be?”
“Lei... It’s over. I wish you would realize that. I guess I was just getting my hopes up, thinking you and Harry might...” From the back seat, Leilani watched him shake his head and sigh again, as they reached the street and their car suddenly appeared on a completely different one. Leilani was very pleased with herself, but made sure not to show it. She hoped very much that Harry was remembering to put on the same show that she was.
They reached the Potters’ home, parked in front, and took all their luggage to the front steps. They rang the doorbell, and soon, James was opening the door and loudly and excitedly greeting them. Leilani’s parents rushed inside to the crowded hall, leaving her in the back to bring in her trunk by herself.
“What a handsome young man you are becoming Harry, you look more like your father every day!” Leilani’s mother exclaimed, after wrapping Harry in a hug. Leilani watched him as she let him go, and he smiled at her mother bashfully, obviously taken aback by the compliment. Leilani was left face to face with Harry, who was looking at her almost as if he was in awe, but trying to hide it. She had a hard time not smiling.
“Hey Harry,” Leilani said casually.
“Hello,” said Harry, with a small grin. They turned and followed their parents down the hall, Leilani dragging her trunk behind her. She noticed, since Harry was wearing no shoes, that he had on the socks she had given him for his birthday. Leilani smiled to herself.
“Harry,” said James, as he and Lily helped Leilani’s parents bring their things to the downstairs guest bedroom. “Help Leilani bring her trunk to your room, will you?”
And so it begins!
Harry hurriedly took a hold of one side of her trunk, and together they pulled it up the stairs. She kept her eyes on him the whole way up, thinking happily to herself that she must be the luckiest girl in the world. Harry was right, this was going to be their best Christmas ever, and Leilani doubted she would ever forget it.
Thank you everyone for reading, especially everyone who left feedback (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=52272)!
Alas, this may be the end of Leilani Black. It has been fun. I love that girl. But who knows, maybe in awhile I'll come back with something else about her (or not about her...), even if it's a real short thing. We shall see. Because I've already gone as far to write over 200,000 words in a 3 part fan fiction series (you weirdo)so there's no telling what other insanity might come from me.
But if you are wondering, for now I'm taking a HBP related fanfic break so count on not seeing anything by me for awhile.
Some title related notes:
A few lyrics from "Oh What A World" by Rufus Wainwright which made me choose that as a title (not all the lyrics fit though): He often sings "Oh what a world we live in" and "Oh what a world my parents gave me". I think the second is particularly fitting. My favorite line from the song is what really made me choose the title: "Wouldn't it be a lovely headline: Life Is Beautiful, on the New York Times." (Just substitute Daily Prophet for that one. :p )