Chapter 1 : Their First Dance
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I own nothing but the plot. All rights remain JK Rowlings.
Harry sneaked out of the Dursley's house quietly around midnight. He was so sick of living with them.
They hated him. They hated him with and undying passion, and as to why they even kept him around was beyond him.
They didn’t care about him. They often talked about him as if he wasn’t even in the room, calling him “A waste of space”, “A burden”, “The baggage”. No, they didn’t even think he was worth the time or effort. That’s why they shoved him in an old broom closet under the stairs and handed him clothes that were 10 sizes to big for him. He may be alive, but to the Dursleys, he was not worthy of life itself.
Harry let out a deep sigh and shoved his hands deep into his pockets. He was ready to be off on his own, but he knew he would never get very far — he was only 10 after all. Kicking a stone laying on the drive, Harry made his way to the end of Privet Drive.
Finally, reaching the edge of the sidewalk, the spectacled, lanky boy plopped himself onto the curve in front of the hedge that blocked him from the pry eyes of Number 4.
He had spent most of his life with the Dursleys — nine years almost exactly now. He didn’t quite understand how he ended up here, but he knew this was the closest thing to home he would have until his 18th birthday.
What he didn’t understand was why. Why did his uncle and aunt keep him around? Why did they bother clearing out the broom closet for him to call his room? Why — if they hated him so much — didn’t they just pack him up and ship off to an orphanage? If he was such a waste of space, why not just throw him out with the trash? After all, that’s what he was to them — garbage.
Harry picked up the few stones that the days traffic had carried in and began to bounce them off the blacktop street. He was tired of being stuck here. It wouldn’t be so bad if he could have friends, but his cousin, Dudley, had made sure he never had any. It maybe lonely being an only child, but at least, I wouldn’t be tortured by Dudley every day, Harry thought.
“And maybe have a friend,” Harry added to himself.
Harry leaned down to pick up a rock, but scrapping his fingernails on the pavement, he realized he had thrown them all. He folded his hands in his lap instead and let out a deep sigh.
Why did he even have to be alive? His parents had died in a car crash when he was only a year. He had been in the vehicle with them, but some how at the expense of their lives, he himself had survived the crash. Why couldn’t he have died with them? Why’d he have to live? He just wish he could have been with them whether in death or on earth.
Harry laid back onto the cement and took in the sky above him. It wasn’t much, but it was dark enough to see the big dipper and a few stars here and there. The wind blew over him ruffling his bangs that stuck out every which way. The crickets chirped, and the night sung its lullaby as got lost in the abyss above him.
Harry just wanted to be loved. He just wanted one person who didn’t look at him like he ruined their lives or wasn’t a waste of space. Someone he could call friend. He wanted one person who when they looked at him he knew they really cared about him for him.
Harry enjoyed the silence. He never really got time to himself, and having time in his day where Dudley wasn’t throwing a tantrum was the best thing to happen to him.
“A shooting star…Make a wish Harry,” he whispered to himself.
I wish I could just have one friend. Just one friend, Harry chanted to himself, squeezing his eyes tight.
Harry opened his eyes in a hurry as if expecting a friend to magically appear in front of him. With a deep breath, Harry sighed. He was being silly. He knew magic wasn’t real, but for a second, he had actually thought…that just maybe…
Harry heaved himself up from the ground, resuming his sitting position. He pressed his palms into his eyes. This was ridiculous. He was being silly. Life didn’t get better by wishing on stars.
Harry slide his hands up to his forehead. He was always going to be alone. Nothing ever changed around here. No one cared about the little boy that lived with the Dursleys — Not even God if there was one. No one cared about the scrawny, spectacled boy who lived under the stairs of number four Privet Drive, and until Dudley left or Harry grew up, life was always going to be the exact same no matter how hard he wished it otherwise.
SQUEEEEEEAAAAAAAAK. Harry jolted up from where he had been seating, knocked from his solom thoughts. Harry froze. He couldn’t be caught out this late at night. Uncle Vernon would kill him. But it’s too early for someone to be leaving for work, Harry thought.
Harry watched as a young girl slowly guided the front door of number 6 to a quiet close. She carried a big box by its handle and walked away from the house. She clearly was breaking curfew as tip toed away from the house and continually swiveled her head to make sure no one had awaken.
Once at the end of number six’s drive, she set down the box and began to tinker with it. She eventually seemed satisfied and walked a few feet away. She smoothed out the wrinkles that invaded the short gray dress that she wore. After deciding she had vanquished the wrinkles, she quickly adjusted the dress belt and pointed her fist at the box.
Harry watched as the girl bowed. She took a step forward and place her hand on the invisible boy’s shoulder and as “he” lifted her other. Slowly, she began to sway around the end of the drive as she danced to the unheard music.
Harry strained his ears in an effort to hear whether she had really turned on the music or she was just making it up in her head. He heard nothing but the crickets singing to the wind.
Curiosity got the best of him. Harry scurried across the road for a closer look. He wanted to know more about her. He wanted to know if there was really music playing. He wanted to know if she was as strange as she was appearing in the dead of night.
Harry curled up beside a car and watched as the girl spun around the drive way. She was more graceful than he expected. She must have been taking lessons for years to be able to move so fluidly and unhesitantly like that. Though, he supposed she could have just been naturally talented that way too, but either way, she mesmerized him with her ability. He wanted to join her.
That was crazy though. . . wasn’t it? He had never seen the girl before — let alone met her, but there was something about her that beckoned him in. He didn’t know what friendship was or what it felt like for sure, but he knew that he had never felt this way before either. He was terrified, but he was curious too. Something was pulling him toward her, and he wanted to let it. He wanted to get to know her. He wanted to be her friend.
Harry took a step forward.
But he quickly retracted it and settled back behind the car. What if she didn’t like him? What if she made fun of him? What if she treated him like everyone else did? What if she thought he was a waste of space too?
But she wasn’t friends with Dudley — he would have met her if she was. The Dursleys did not know about her. If he became friends with her, there was a chance he would finally have a way to escape from their prison.
Harry took a deep breath and cautiously made his way to her, trying not to scare her. He struggled to breath. He was nervous. His hands began to feel clammy, and he kept touching his glasses to adjust them even though they were as high as they would go.
This was the first possible friend he would ever have. This was actually the first girl he would even talk to that wasn’t his aunt. Harry was excited for the opportunity to have a new friend, but if he didn’t hurry up, he was going to back out. What if she runs away scared of me, said Harry.
He didn’t know much about showing people friendship, but if he learned one thing from his aunt’s mockery of his mother, it was that loving and caring for someone means there is no fear in love. You don’t have to fear anything if you truly care about someone. They’ll accept whatever you throw your ways. He didn’t know if she would care for him enough to be friends, but he hoped that she would come to.
Harry took a deep breath and closed the gap between him and the girl. He tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention from her invisible partner.
The girl froze — most likely stricken with fear of who stood behind her, but she eventually took a deep breath and turned around. Harry bowed to her, knowing words were meaningless in the moment and offered his hand. She smiled and curtsied, placing her hand in his.
Harry smiled. This felt good. It felt like home almost. It felt like he had spent years to find this, and now that he found it, he was at peace.
Harry placed his hand on her waist and slowly began to guide her around the drive. He took in the warmth of her brown eyes. They were so warm and comforting. It was almost as if she could read him and his thoughts.
He blushed at the thought of her reading his thoughts. Those were probably best for him alone to know. He didn’t want to scare her away. After all, one could hardly say he was in a good place while living with he Dursleys.
The girl broke the silence first, “Hello, I’m Hermione Granger.”
“Hi, my name is Harry Potter,” he replied. “I live in number four with my aunt and uncle.”
“Oh, they’re not very nice people,” Hermione said.
“No, not reall that why I came out here actually, to get away,” he confessed.
She giggled, “I come out here a lot, just to dance. I like dancing even though I mostly dance a lone. I like this better though. I like having a partner I can actually see.”
“I like dancing with you too. I don’t really know how to dance, but this is fun.”
“Oh I think you’re a brilliant dancer. You haven’t stepped on my toes once,” she giggled.
“Well that’s good then, I suppose.” Harry smiled at her.
“If you need to get away again, may be you will join me then?”
“On two conditions.”
Hermione arched an eyebrow and said, “What’s the first condition?”
Harry stopped dancing and pulled away. He was a little timid about this. He wasn’t used to asking people to be friends. How was one suppose to go about asking someone to be his friend?
“Well I was…I just…I wanted..”
Harry couldn’t seem to control his nerves enough to get the words out. Hermione reached out and touched his shoulder, encouraging him to say what was on his mind.
“I just mean I was wonder if you would maybe possibly want to be my friend?” Harry sped through the sentence.
“Of course,” Hermione cheered.
“Are you sure? I mean I’ve never really had any friends before. My cousin always beats anyone who tries, but he wouldn’t know about you so you wouldn’t really have to worry about that. If he ever did find out about you though, you might change your mind. He’s very persuasive when it comes to not being friends with me.”
“You’re right. On second thought that doesn’t sound fun.” Hermione said changing her mind.
Harry’s face dropped from the smile that had just been there. He didn’t feel so courageous anymore. He felt like a fool. He had been dumb enough to think that she would be his friend.
“I’ll be your best friend!” she exclaimed. “Don’t worry about your cousin, Harry. He won’t scare me away.”
Harry smiled bigger than he had ever thought possible. He was so happy. He had not just made a friend today; he had found his best friend today. Harry hugged her and said, “Thank you, Hermione.”
She pulled away from him, but she kept her arms locked around him. She smiled and replied, “You’re welcome. What’s the second condition?”
“Let me always be dance partner? Don’t dance with anyone else?”
Hermione smiled. That she could live with, but she wasn’t about to let him know that without something in return.
“What if I grow up and want to dance with someone else?” she quizzed him.
“I’ll tell you no. Maybe I’ll step aside. I don’t know depends on the guy,” he answered.
Hermione sat there contemplating the deal. She did want to dance with Harry, and there was no one else she wanted to dance with more. That was a big commitment though. She was only 10 years old, but a forever dance partner was like a marriage to 10 year olds. Forever meant forever. It was a big deal.
“On one condition,” Hermione answered.
Harry’s stomach dropped. What if he couldn’t fulfill her condition? What if he had to run away because of it? (He didn’t find this an entirely bad idea due to the fact that he would never have to see the Dusleys again, but he was still only 10, almost 11.) What if he had to leave her here alone having gotten both their hopes up? What if Harry failed?
Harry looked nervously around and took a deep breath. He needed to face this before he made up these crazy stories. Harry stalled hard and then said, “What’s the condition?”
Hermione smiled. She had him. She was sure of it, “You have to want me as your girlfriend until we find other dance partners.”
Harry smiled. He could do that. That was just like a really good friend you spent all your time with. It was like a real forever friend. He could handle that. Harry nodded. He bowed again and pulled her closer.
They resumed their swaying around the drive, but he paid more attention to her. She was shorter than him but not by much. She could nestle her head into the crook of his neck perfectly so he could rest his chin on her head. He could work with this.
As they swayed around the driveway, Harry shifted his head to lay his cheek on her hair. Hermione’s breathing had slowed, and the two barely moved around the drive. Harry could smell Hermione’s fragrance of parchment, frozen flowers and rain wafting off her hair. He didn’t know what would become of them in the future, but he at least had someone for now.
He looked at the moon and knew that they both were pushing their luck of being up still. It may not have been any where close to 5 A.M, but he knew it was time to say goodnight and sneak back in to their respective homes.
Harry pulled away and bowed to Hermione. She curtsied in return, and they quietly bid each other goodnight. Harry scurried back to the hedge, but before he returned to his prison, he looked back and watch Hermione disappear into the house across the street.
Harry hurried back to the house and lifted himself through the living room window through which he had exited earlier. He slide the window back down before latching it shut. Sliding under his sheets in his closet of a room, he smiled inwardly to himself.
Tonight was the best night of his life. He would never forget it. In one night, he had gain a friend — his BEST friend — and danced only dance partner. Would it last? He didn’t know, but if it did, he wouldn’t want it to be with anyone else…
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