Chapter 1 : Lost
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“This is all your fault, Harry!”
Harry grit his teeth with frustration, her voice was now officially wearing his nerves to tiny shreds. At first she had just been whining and he could block her out; but when she turned to full out complaining and blaming him for everything her voice took on a stronger note and he wanted to kill her.
“Don’t ignore me when I’m talking to you!”
Harry squeezed his eyes tightly shut and willed his hands to stay at his side and not wander around her throat. “You're not talking to me, you're shouting at me and it’s not helping matters.”
“How can you not know the way, Harry? You’ve been in this forest a thousand times.”
“But I usually stick to the path, why did you have to wander from the path, Lavender?” Harry demanded, turning to glare at her.
Lavender Brown stopped walking, placing her hands on her hips she scowled over at him. “I thought I saw a unicorn, they’re really rare. You’d know that if you were any good at Care of Magical Creatures,” she added snidely.
Harry sighed heavily, “So I’m lost in the middle of the Forbidden Forest because you thought you saw a unicorn? Nice, Lavender.”
“Your supposed to be the Boy Wonder, can’t you just get us out of here?”
“I’m Harry Potter not Clark Kent Superman,” Harry snapped irritably.
A frown creased Lavender’s face. “Who?”
He waved his hand dismissively, “Never mind, it’s not important. Come on, we’d better keep moving.”
“Why? You don’t even know where we are. For all you know you could just be getting us even more lost than we are already,” Lavender pointed out, as she began walking again behind him.
“That doesn’t even make any sense,” Harry replied rolling his eyes.
“Don’t use that patronising tone with me,” Lavender demanded hotly, “I’m only here because of you in the first place.”
Harry stopped walking again so suddenly that she bumped into him. He turned and glared at her, “Your blaming me completely? There were two of us practising the spell, Lavender, we were working in pairs,” Harry reminded her.
“If you paid attention once in a while rather than drooling over Granger we might not have set Filtwick’s desk on fire,” Lavender snapped back. Her hands were on her hips again, her elbows holding up the red cloak she was wearing showing off the midnight blue dress she wore beneath it.
Harry’s eyes automatically dropped to her heaving cleavage and he noticed how snugly the dress fit to her curves.
“Please don’t tell me that you're leering at my breasts in the middle of the forest,” Lavender said with an air of someone who was accustomed to that sort of thing happening and was bored of it.
Harry’s face flushed slightly, “No I’m not. I’m just wondering why you're wearing something totally inappropriate to go wandering around a forest on night time detention.”
“It’s my favourite dress,” she responded primly.
“Oh whatever,” Harry threw up his hands and turned away from her. “Just come on, and for the record I was not drooling over Hermione. I don’t do that.”
“Your right, that’s Ron’s job.” Lavender agreed.
Harry glanced over his shoulder, “You don’t sound too upset by it.”
“Why should I? We’ve broken up. Besides, I’ve decided that I need a man, Harry. No more immature boys for me,” she told him determinedly.
Harry stifled the urge to scream at the top of his lungs. He did not want to have the boy conversation with Lavender Brown. Ruffling his hair absently Harry hopped over a fallen log and peered into the dense undergrowth. He could see no sign of a path anywhere and he was beginning to worry over his ability to get them out of the Forbidden Forest, for all he knew he was just leading Lavender deeper into the heart of the forest. Harry wouldn’t tell her that though, Lavender was a bit of a drama queen and he couldn’t cope with being lost and her hysterical fits all in one night.
There was only so much a guy could take.
“We’ve been walking for ages and my feet are hurting, I need to sit down.”
Harry’s face scrunched up with annoyance, Lavender had returned to that high whiny voice that wore on his nerves. “You shouldn’t wear stupid shoes should you,” he retorted.
“They aren’t stupid, I love these shoes. A quick rest won’t hurt will it?” she pleaded.
“No, I guess not.” Harry flopped down on the log and stretched his legs out a little bit. He was completely taken by surprise when Lavender deposited herself on his knees and calmly began to wiggle her sore feet as though she did this every day. “Um, what’s going on?” Harry asked uncertainly.
“I can’t sit on the log, Harry. It’s probably dirty, and there could be bugs,” she added with a disdainful wrinkle of her nose and a dramatic shudder.
He groaned, “Fine.” Anything to shut the girl up, Lavender Brown could be extremely infuriating.
Brushing her long brown hair from her face Lavender tilted her head back and stared up at the patches of sky that were barely visible through the density of the tree tops. “I think it’s getting darker,”
“I think your imagining it.”
“Yes,” Harry said firmly.
Mercifully, Lavender relapsed into silence as she concentrated on rubbing her feet. Harry had known peace and quiet before, but nothing like this. This quiet was dark and heavy, it felt eerie and unnatural that a forest that was supposedly teaming with many different creatures was so still. He strained his ears but he couldn’t hear anything, not a rustle amongst the fallen leaves, not the shattering of a twig as it broke beneath a foot or a paw or a hoof, nothing at all greeted Harry's ears.
Uneasily, Harry shifted a little, his grip automatically tightening on his wand as his emerald green eyes darted swiftly around the bushes that surrounded them. What he was looking for Harry didn’t know, and he hoped that he wouldn’t find it.
Lavender sensed the sudden change in Harry's body and lifted her head quickly, her frightened brown eyes met his, “What’s the matter?” she whispered.
“I don’t know,” Harry whispered back.
“H…Harry?” Lavender stammered, wiggling closer to him. “Are we going to carry on sitting here until someone comes?”
He shook his head, “No, I don’t think it’s safe.” Harry couldn’t tell her why he didn’t think it was safe, it was just a feeling he had. Mostly he figured it was because he was lost in the Forbidden Forest and he hated it in there. Aragog was still in there somewhere and the Centaurs, and they disliked human’s in their forest; plus all manner of unknown dangers that lurked around every tree trunk.
Lavender got to her feet and looked expectantly at him to lead the way. Sighing inwardly Harry began to walk forward, he figured if he walked forward and outwards he stood more of a chance of getting out than going in deeper.
He glanced down in astonishment when he felt Lavender’s cold fingers sliding into his free hand and he squeezed them in what he hoped was a reassuring gesture. Lavender looked frightened and extremely nervous, there was no other reason why she would be trudging after him in silence holding so tightly to his hand Harry wondered if she might crush his bones.
Stopping after a few minutes in an effort to find his bearings, Harry was taken off guard by something cold and wet dropping on his head. His head jerked back immediately, a stunning spell on his lips, but there was no horrendous creature sitting in the branches above dripping on him. Harry felt it again, on his face this time, and he peered upwards through the dimness, his eyes narrowing as he squinted.
“Oh,” Lavender gave a small squeal. “It’s starting to rain.”
Rolling his eyes at his own jumpiness Harry nodded, of course it was rain, he needed to calm himself down. But after years of people trying to murder him, Harry felt he was entitled to be a little jumpy. “Great, that’s all we need.”
Sighing, Lavender pulled up the hood of her cloak, the ends of her hair curled around her neck, peeking out from the hood. “Where to now?”
“You light your wand, I want mine free from spells,” Harry told her, taking her hand again and pulling her into a walk. “I doubt it can be much farther before we get out or find the path again.”
Harry sighed as he shot a look at Lavender from the corner of his eye. Being inconspicuous was not something she was good at; he had wanted to blend into the forest as much as he possibly could. That feat however was not easy to do when he had Lavender beside him dressed like Little Red Riding Hood!
The rain had turned from picking to full onslaught within seconds. Icy cold droplets pounded down onto Harry's bare head plastering his hair to his skull; the water made unpleasant cold little rivers down his neck into his jumper, chilling his skin and making him shiver.
His trainers were sodden in mere minutes and he slid on the wet leaves that littered the floor. He could here Lavender huffing to herself as her shoes, like his own, began to sink into the mud, making walking difficult and slowing them down to nothing more than a hard slog through muck.
The branches of the bushes they pushed their way through slapped back into Lavender’s bare legs splattering droplets of water over her skin. She sniffed miserably, forcefully pulling her foot out of the mud that was slurping around her shoe whenever she placed it on the ground.
The rain was lashing down, whipping through the forest and soaking them both completel. A loud rumble of thunder sounded in the distance and Lavender moaned faintly; she didn’t like the idea of being trapped in the forest in a thunder storm.
Harry pulled Lavender after him into a slightly denser looking patch of trees that at least gave them a little shelter from the wind and calmed the mad assault of the rain. Wiping a sopping sleeve over his rain splattered face, Harry squinted up at what little sky he could see. The evening had turned to liquid near-night as the clouds blackened the sky and loosed sheets of rain on them. “Looks like the storm is really setting in.”
“What do we do now?” she demanded.
“I don’t know,” Harry admitted.
“You don’t know?” Lavender repeated gaping at him. “How can you not know? It’s your fault I’m here in the first place!” she raged suddenly. “I don’t want to stay here in the wet and the cold. I don’t want to be outside in a forest in the middle of a storm! I want to be in the common room, I want to go back to school!” Lavender shrieked at him, raising her arm she lashed out at him with her small fist, catching him a good blow to his chest and arms when she could.
“Lavender!” Harry yelled as he ducked and dodged the blows. “Will you calm down? This isn’t helping. Lavender!” Angrily his hands shot out and managed to encircle her wrists. Pulling her into his body Harry pinned her against him, ensuring she couldn’t move and attack him again. “Calm down,” he repeated in a lower voice.
She sniffled into his chest, her body shaking with cold and fright. “Why doesn’t someone come for us, Harry?”
“They will. Hagrid knows we’re out here, he can’t be far away with those fourth years who had detention as well,” Harry soothed.
“I don’t like the forest, I don’t want to be here,” Lavender whimpered pitifully, gripping Harry tighter and almost squeezing the breath from his lungs.
Harry groaned inwardly, why did he have to be stuck with her of all people!? Lavender Brown was as much use to him as a chocolate teapot! Resigning himself to the fact that she was there Harry patted her shoulder awkwardly in an attempt to reassure her, he had the feeling he was annoying her more than anything though.
“Are we going to stay here?”
Harry shrugged, “I don’t know what to do for the best, just let me think for a few minutes.”
Whatever they did they were going to be wet, cold and muddy. At least staying where they were meant they had a bit of shelter; but it also meant they weren’t moving at all and were no closer to getting out of the forest than they had been half an hour ago.
Hagrid was bound to be searching for him, Harry knew that as well as he knew his own name, if they started walking again they could just be going further and further away from their rescuer. Harry knew it was a very slim chance that they would bump into Hagrid if they kept moving. That kind of wonderful spontaneous act only happened in books and films, he thought bitterly.
His pride was also taking as severe a battering as the tops of the trees were from the wind. Everyone expected him to be able to get out of dangerous situations and save the girl. Right now he was in the middle of a dangerous forest and he wanted to kill the girl!
“Harry,” Lavender exclaimed suddenly gripping the front of his jumper and yanking his head down towards her. “Did you see that?”
“See what?” Harry narrowed his eyes against the rain that was pouring down from the Heavens that had well and truly opened, as they darted around the small cluster of trees quickly.
“There was a movement in the trees,” she called into his ear.
Harry closed his eyes and counted to ten in his head. “Of course there was a movement in the trees, we’re in the middle of a storm,” he told her dryly. “Will you please just calm down?”
Lavender buried her face in Harry’s shoulder to hide her tears from him. She didn’t want Harry Potter seeing her cry, she was after all a Gryffindor as well, although she didn’t feel very brave right now. The expected Lavender was prepared for and could deal with; the unexpected and the unseen was something she didn’t like at all.
Lavender hated standing there feeling exposed and vulnerable to all the nameless creatures that were probably watching her with hungry glowing eyes in the darkness. She hated the fact that there could be something preying on her right now, just waiting it’s chance to pounce and rip her limb from limb.
Breathing deeply, Lavender tried to calm the shaking of her body. The scent of chocolate and butterbeer that lingered on Harry was comforting, and Lavender soothed herself with the knowledge that he was The Boy Who Lived; anyone who had defeated the Dark Lord could get them out of a forest.
Leaving her side for a few minutes, Harry stepped precariously out into the open air to have another quick look for the path. He couldn’t see a thing through all the water, there was water everywhere! It hammered down from above him, it pooled at his feet and filled the space around him.
The wind was furious and it howled through the trees, shrieking like a lost soul in torment and Lavender hugged herself tightly wishing for Harry to come back. Lavender did not know the chaotic power of the wind, she did not know the full and complete strength it possessed and she gave a loud scream when the wind barrelled into her knocking her sideward into a tree.
Lavender hadn’t know such cold could exist before. Cold rain pelted her, a colder wind surrounded her, pulling at her; her whole body was frozen. Her teeth were chattering uncontrollably, making such a racket inside her head that she couldn’t think straight; all Lavender knew was that she was paralysed to the spot, she couldn’t move she was so cold.
And yet she was moving, in sickening swaying motions as the harsh assault of the wind whipped around her and Harry’s arms no longer supported her.
“Lavender!” The sound of her name was louder than the chattering of her teeth and managed to stab into her consciousness. “Lavender!” It was Harry’s voice calling her and that was Harry’s arm around her, she could smell the faint scent of chocolate again. She squinted up at him through the water that kept hitting her face and stinging her eyes.
“Harry,” she tried to speak, but her throat felt numb with cold.
“We can’t stay out here in this, the trees aren’t enough to shelter us,” Harry called over the raging wind. “I’ve found some rocks over there, we need to go, come on,” he pulled her close to him and began to tug her through the leaves and bushes.
Lavender wanted to scream, she wanted to cling to Harry and scream with hysteria. She couldn’t go into the rock, who knew what was in the hole that Harry had found! He was going to get them killed!
Within minutes Harry had bundled her into a small opening in some rocks and the rain was no longer spiking her skin with icy needle sharpness. Lavender blinked, her eyelashes sticking together as she assessed her surroundings. It was dry, that was the main thing, if she could ignore the cold until someone came Lavender thought she just might get back to school without breaking down and screaming like a lunatic.
Slowly she began to rub her chilled hands together.
“That’s the way,” Harry told her approvingly, “keep your circulation going.”
Biting her lower lip Lavender shivered and stared out at the storm. Merlin, she wanted to be in her own bed all snug as a bug in a rug right now!
“How do you feel?” Harry asked.
“Frozen nearly to death,” she replied, and for once Lavender wasn’t dramatising everything.
“Here, let me see if I can help,” he offered, slipping his hands beneath the sodden red cloak Harry began to rub at her bare arms. “We’ll be alright, Hagrid will be looking for us.”
She didn’t reply but sighed heavily instead. Her dropping shoulders jerked back to life when forked lightening tore across the inky sky and a scream wrenched itself from her throat.
“It’s alright, it’s just lightening,” Harry soothed, he hoped that the lightening wouldn’t hit a tree and cause a raging forest fire. He wisely kept his thoughts to himself though.
“Will you stop doing that!” Lavender flapped his hands away irritably, “your rubbing the flesh off my bones.”
“Sorry, I was only trying to help.”
“I know, I know,” she rubbed at her temple with the heel of her hand, “I didn’t mean… I only…I…” her voice broke and Lavender began to cry in gasping sobs.
Harry hurriedly pulled her to him, wrapping her up in his arms and rocking her gently back and forth. He whispered strange soothing sounds in her ear and stroked her wet hair in a vain effort of shushing her. “Don’t cry, Lavender, everything will be fine.”
Weakness, Lavender could feel only weakness and the soaking mass of hair that was sticking to her neck. She must look a sight! She whimpered forlornly and wished she could curl up in a ball and sleep until it was all over.
“Damn you for a quitter, Lavender Brown!”
Harry’s words stirred a feeble anger inside her and Lavender lifted her head from his chest to glare at him. “This is all your fault in the first place,” she responded weakly.
Harry’s lips twitched into a grin. “Moaning, always moaning,” he replied.
Her face scrunched up a little and her brown eyes flickered with annoyance, but just as suddenly it was gone, “What if Hagrid doesn’t come?”
“He’ll come. We’ll be back in Hogwarts very soon, don’t give up,” Harry murmured, his lips brushing her temple. He smiled down at her reassuringly, she gazed back at him a strange look on her face that he could not interpret.
Harry felt her hand like ice on his cheek and her lips cold but soft press lightly to his own. Somehow her lips made him warm, gave him a renewed feeling of hope and he kissed her back. His mouth was hard and demanding on hers and Lavender felt her body come to life, responding to the primitive need deep inside her to answer his command.
The elements swirled around them in an electric dance of natures oldest ritual; the storm. In the shelter of the rock another type of storm was brewing. Mad, uncensored urges were erupting, only basic want and need seemed to be important. So important was it for Harry to keep kissing her, to feel the soft skin of Lavender Brown beneath his fingertips that he nearly missed the shouting voice altogether.
His head snapped up and he peered out into the rain and darkness. His eyes picked out a brightly burning magical torch and Harry pointed excitedly. “Lavender look, I told you. Over here! Hagrid!”
“Hurry, quickly, Harry before he disappears,” Lavender scrambled to her feet, automatically pulling the sunken hood of her cloak over her hair.
The vibrant red of her cloak was a stark contrast of colour to the darkness that surrounded them and the wild tangle of hair that sat around her shoulders made her look alive and wanton in a way that Harry had never imagined before. Shaking himself from his thoughts and taking her hand, Harry darted from the shelter calling loudly to Hagrid in an effort to be heard over the storm. “Hagrid! Hagrid! Over here!”
Hagrid’s back loomed big and familiar out of the blackness and Harry could hear Fang’s barking as well. Hagrid turned in the direction of Fang’s barks and his face split into a wide grin, “’Arry! There you are! Been looking everywhere for you! What are you doing in this part of the wood?”
Harry shook his head, “Can we get back to school before I explain?”
“Sure, sure, under here, come on.” Hagrid motioned for the two of them to come under the enchanted umbrella he was holding. “Let’s get you two back to school.”
“That’s the first smart comment I’ve heard all day,” Lavender muttered under her breath.
Ten minutes later Hagrid had lead the two thoroughly miserable teenagers back to the school doors, they thanked him for coming to rescue them and tramped inside the dry castle together. Dripping all over the corridor floors Harry and Lavender walked in silence side by side back to the common room.
All their friends were huddled around the fireplace waiting for them and as soon as they entered the room they were descended upon and pulled apart by their own respective friends.
As he felt Lavender’s cold fingers slide from his Harry felt strangely sad.
Harry’s fingers slipped through her own before she could tighten her hold on him and Lavender suddenly felt strangely lost without his touch.
“Harry!” Hermione yelled and hurled herself at him, hugging him tightly around the neck.
“Are you ok mate? We’ve all be worried,” Ron said coming over and inspecting his soaking wet friend.
“Fine, just wet and cold,” Harry managed to croak out through the choke hold Hermione was subjecting him to.
A swam of chattering girls had surrounded Lavender, and Harry couldn’t see her, he could only hear high pitched squeals as girls exclaimed over her hair and how cold she was.
“You must have had such a terrible time, Lav!” Parvati said, brushing the wet tangle of hair from her friends face.
Lavender titled her head to the side and caught Harry’s eye. Her lips still felt swollen from the kisses he had given her and her stomach muscles quivered at the memory. Her lips twitched into a secret smile as she replied, “It wasn’t so bad.”
A/N: Yes I know it wasn't a particularly good one shot, the idea kept annoying me so I finally wrote this. Hope you guys don't think it's all that bad, it's far from good but perhaps a little more entertaining that watching paint dry lol.
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