Chapter 3 : The Awkward Meeting
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The next day Harry woke up, a slight feeling of happiness inside of him. He would see her again today, just as he had for the past three years. Well, the days when he was on holiday from Hogwarts. He closed his eyes and pictured her face. He saw her running her hand through her golden hair and her bright blue eyes sparkling like they always do. Harry sighed. Why wasn’t he confident enough to speak to her? He could fight Voldemort, battle Dementors and save Ginny from the chamber of secrets but he couldn’t speak to a girl. How pathetic was that?
He got up, trying not to wake the Dursleys and crept down the stairs. It was another sunny morning without a cloud in the sky, what a perfect day for... err... staring. Ok, that just made him sound creepy.
He sneaked into the kitchen and started to make himself a piece of toast. A loud clearing of a throat made him jump as he was spreading the jam, causing him to spread it over himself instead. He whipped around to see his uncle Vernon sitting at the kitchen table, his bushy moustache even more bushy that usual and his face even more pink.
Harry froze. He was sure his uncle hadn’t been in when he entered and he would have heard him if he had come in.
“Where do you think you’re going, boy?” uncle Vernon asked, twiddling his bushy moustache round and around his beefy finger.
Harry opened his mouth to answer but didn’t get a chance.
“Well wherever it was, don’t think you’re going.”
Harry, once again opened him mouth but again he didn’t get the chance.
“Go and fetch me breakfast.” His uncle said, clicking his fingers at him. Harry turned towards the cooker but instead he took off, running down the hall and out the front door, ignoring his uncle’s threatening shouts. He smiled as he saw Vernon waddling out the front door, shaking his fist in the air. Harry may look small and weak, but he was fast. Very fast.
He just thought he had escaped when he heard his name being called. He turned around to see Mrs Figg, the batty old cat woman, waving to him. Harry’s smile faded. What now?
“Harry come in for a cup of tea,” she said, “and I’ll show pictures of my cats. I’ve got a new one, you know.”
Harry halted to a stop. Should he go in a be late or should he just keep going?
Sighing, Harry followed Mrs Figg into her house. As much as he disliked cats and wanted to get to the river, he didn’t want to be rude. Glancing at his watch he saw he had plenty of time, so he relaxed a little
He closed the door behind them and darkness enveloped the house. A strong smell of cats filled Harry’s nose and his eyes started to water.
“Come this way dear.” she said to him, ushering him forward into the living room.
“Mrs Figg this is very kind of you but I really can’t stay long.” Harry told her but she didn’t appear to be listening. Harry looked over to see her switching on a light that looked to Harry could blow a fuse at any moment. It flickered on, illuminating the room in an orangey glow. A cat wondered into the room, whining.
Mrs Figg shuffled out of the room and returned a moment later with a plate of mouldy cakes and two cups of cold tea. Harry took one politely and a piece of cake and nibbled the end, forcing himself to keep it down.
The room was messy. Books and dishes piled up around him and the shelves, window ledges and every single surface was covered in old, cracked ornaments. Mrs Figg must be getting old and tired, her house was never like this when he was younger.
She bent down, after eating a cake herself, and retrieved a dusty old photo album from a wooden cabinet. Harry recognised it as one she had started showing him when he was about five years old. Harry’s heart sank. This was the biggest album. It would take ages to look through it all. He was just about to excuse himself when something caught his attention.
It was a photo on the fireplace and this time it wasn’t one of a cat. Harry got up and moved towards it.
“Mrs Figg, who’s this?” he asked her.
She looked up, confused. She hadn’t seen Harry get up and was under the impression he was beside her. But her face brighten when she saw the photo he was pointing to.
“That’s young Summer.” she said with a smile.
“How do you know her?”
“She’s my son’s daughter. My granddaughter.” she replied, “ She’s not very close to her parents or me now. Although she’s very close to her sisters. She’s not very happy, likes to be alone a lot. Quite a strange girl in my mind. But sweet.” she added.
Harry looked back at the photo. Summer was standing on a beach, wearing a pale blue summer dress and a matching hair band. She looked about thirteen in the photo so it was probably taken about two years before. She was smiling, slightly with her mouth but more with her eyes. But then again, Summer was always smiling. Mrs Figg had said she was unhappy, maybe she only smiled on the outside. Deep down she’s probably hurting.
“Why is she unhappy?” Harry asked.
“Oh, this and that. That and this.” she replied, vaguely. He realised he wasn’t going to get more than that so he said, “Well Mrs Figg, thank you for the tea and cakes but I really have to be going.”
Mrs Figg looked crestfallen. “Won’t you stay while we look through some photo albums?” she asked.
“I would love to but I have to go. Maybe another day.” he added.
She nodded, “Yes yes, another day. I’ll let you get on.” and she saw Harry to the door, waving him goodbye.
Half an hour later, Harry was entering the forest. He had had another three distractions; one with a dog, one with a blind old man who thought Harry was his wife, and another with a woman who looked as if she had a heart attack when she bumped into him. So all in all, not a great start to the day.
He walked along the bumpy forest path and into the field. Taking a deep breath, he started walking towards his tree but stopped in his tracks. Because sitting by his tree was Summer. Beautiful, amazing, magical Summer. And she was staring right at him, an unsure smile upon her face.
He didn’t know what to do. Go over to her, turn back or walk towards the river and pretend he hadn’t seen her, but he was pretty sure she knew. After a few minutes of world war 3 in his head, he made up his mind. He took a deep breath and started to walk towards the tree where she sat.
He got there, unsure what to do. She too, looked unsure.
Harry shuffled his feet side to side nervously. He started to speak but at the same moment, she did too.
“No, you first.” they said in unison and then laughed nervously.
Summer stood up and then looked as if she thought she had made a mistake. She shook her head, took a deep breath and said, “What’s your name?”
“Harry.” he replied, “Your’s is Summer. I-I mean- err - that I- well I-. I don’t know why I told you that, obviously you know your own name and-. But I heard Daisy screaming it at you and realised that must be your name.” he said quickly.
“You know my sister?”
“No. I mean- no. I-I figured her name out after a while. You know, when you and your sisters came and I heard all of their names.” he said, “I know that sounds a bit creepy.”
Summer shook her head, smiling, “No, well it does a bit, but not that creepy. Just a bit.”
Harry wasn’t convinced but he said, “I bet you would think I was creepy if I told you I had been watching you the past three years. God, I didn’t mean to say that. Well it didn’t mean to come out like that.” Harry cursed himself for being such a prat.
She smiled sheepishly, “Well actually I did know. And- err- I’ve kinda been watching you too.” her face had gone very red now.
“You have?” Harry said, shocked, “But I thought you didn’t even know that I existed. And you always read, you never look at me.”
“No, I only read some of the time. I just pretend so you won’t notice. Same as you.” she added.
“Is it really that obvious?” Harry was the one turning red now.
“Yes,” she laughed, “You don’t even look at the page.”
“That’s because I get so distracted watching you.” he said and then realising he had said it out loud, his face turned even more red, “I didn’t mean to say that.” he muttered, looking at his feet.
Summer only giggled slightly and said, “How old are you?”
“I just turned fifteen. How about you?”
“I’ll turn fifteen on the 11th.” she replied.
“11th, that’s the same birthday as my best friend’s little sister. She’ll turn fourteen this year.”
“What’s her name?” Summer said.
There was an awkward silence. Harry cleared his throat, rocking back and forth on his feet, not looking at her in the face. She too was looking elsewhere.
Three years now and all they could do was stare at each other, now they couldn’t do it at all.
After a long and painful silence, she said, “I better be going. It was nice meeting you Harry.”
She smiled shyly at him and started walking towards the forest. He turned and watched her go as he had done so many times before, but this time was different.
“Goodbye.” he said and she turned and waved, “I’ll see you soon.” he said quietly so she couldn’t hear. And then she was gone, leaving Harry alone. Again.
A/N Ok, this chapter will also need serious editing. It’s badly written and there are LOADS of grammar mistakes. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and please, please, please leave a review!!!!
The chapters are getting longer but they‘re still very short. I hope you stick with it to the next chapter and thanks for taking your time to read it!! xx