Dream Journal of Harry J Potter
Never Let Go
Set during seventh year. Not that this is anything close to what my seventh year actually was like. Not to mention that some of the personalities are . . . skewed.
And I suppose my subconscious couldn't make a choice.
I leaned forward over my Firebolt, lowering my profile to squeeze out that extra ounce of speed. The air rushed past me, giving me the sense of exhilaration that only comes when I'm flying.
The other seeker inched up beside me and nudged me with his shoulder. At those speeds it can be dangerous to get bumped, but I'm prepared and don't deviate from my path. I lost him in my wake after the snitch darted off in a new direction.
Pouring on the speed, I edged toward my golden target. I reached forward, fingertips almost brushing the fluttering wings of that elusive ball.
Without warning, I suddenly found myself in the open air without a broom. The colored uniforms of the other players and the horrified faces in the crowd all swirled together as the laws of gravity and inertia fought over my tumbling body.
With a gasp, I sat up, unfocused eyes darting this way and that.
I recognized that voice. It was comforting, safe. One of my flailing hands found a warm body sitting at the side of the bed I was lying in. Without thinking, I turned to the side and pulled the unresisting body close. "Help!"
Another body pressed against my back. "I've got you. I'll never let go."
"Never let go," agreed a second voice from the body in front of me.
"Never let go," I echoed in a mutter, breathing rapidly.
After a few seconds my heart rate came down, my mind started working properly, and I opened my eyes. The sight of the Hogwarts Infirmary was expected. Curled in front of me and nearly purring, Ginny held my arms where they'd wrapped around her. Another feminine hand resting on my hip suggested that Hermione was the one keeping my back comfortably warm.
Instead of shock over the potentially compromising position I found myself in with my two best female (platonic, darn it) friends, I closed my eyes and relaxed into the embrace. I was still spooked by the instant-replay nightmare that had just awoken me.
"Are you okay?" Hermione asked.
"I think so," I admitted after a few seconds of thought.
"What do you remember?"
"A bludger got me, and I took a spill."
She chuckled. "Nice try, Harry. You out flew your broom."
"Did not. Someone hit me."
"You want to see the omniocular recording? You spilled yourself, Harry."
"I fell off of my Firebolt?"
Ginny answered, "I talked to one of the broom representatives. Congratulations, Harry, you're the first person to ever exceed the safety charms they built into the thing."
"Wow. I'm honored," I said dryly.
Both girls laughed softly, making no move to crawl out of my bed.
"So how long am I in for this time?"
"That all depends on you," another voice answered.
I opened my eyes and identified the fuzzy, Pomfrey-shaped form coming down the aisle.
"Aren't you three cute?" she asked with a touch of dry humor in her voice. "Much as I agree that pinning him to the bed may be the only way to keep him safe, I must ask you two ladies to move."
I studiously ignored the mental images of the thought of those two pinning me down.
Ginny grumbled and tried to burrow further into my arms.
Hermione audibly sighed and started to get up, but for whatever reason didn't release my sheet covered hip. Because her hand didn't move when the rest of her did, she fell awkwardly back onto the bed.
"If you wanted to fall into bed with me, Hermione, there have to be easier ways of telling me."
"Very funny," she said as Ginny shook with silent giggles in my arms.
"Really, Miss Granger and Miss Weasley, please get up," Pomfrey repeated, voice now tinged with both amusement and exasperation.
I felt Hermione's hand pull at my hip. "I can't," she stated.
We all paused. "You can't?" Pomfrey asked in disbelief.
"I can't," Hermione repeated. "My hand's stuck."
I made a mental note to thank Fred and George. This kind of prank sounded like just their kind of thing, and I was definitely appreciating the results.
Now if she could just move the hand around toward the front a little . . .
Pomfrey waved her wand a few times. "There isn't any spell or potion holding your hand there, Miss Granger," she stated.
Hermione carefully stood up. Once upright, she braced herself with her other hand on my shoulder. "Tell me if this hurts, Harry."
"It hasn't hurt so far," I said. "I can feel the hand there, and it pulled a little when you tried to remove it before, but it didn't hurt."
The hand on my hip came away easily.
Hermione sighed. Then I felt the hand on my shoulder tug. Hermione gave a growl of frustration.
I couldn't help the snicker.
"Hush, you," she snapped.
"What's going on?" Ginny asked.
"She got her hand away from my hip, but her other hand is stuck on my shoulder now."
After more wand-waving, Pomfrey said, "No spells or potions here, either.
"Miss Weasley, please get up. I need more space to work," she continued.
Unfortunately, Ginny couldn't seem to get her hand away from my arm.
"Now this is just getting ridiculous," Pomfrey muttered, waving her wand once again.
After some judicious experimentation, we learned that both girls needed to keep at least one hand on me at all times. We tried arm, shoulder, and even Hermione's forehead, but nothing except hand worked. Through my clothing or the hospital sheets didn't seem to have any effect. It didn't seem to matter where they were holding me, just so long as they were.
On the reverse, I didn't have any limits on what I did. My holding Ginny's arm didn't allow her to release me.
"Oh, dear," Hermione said with a sigh and noticeable slump.
"What?" the rest of us asked.
"I just figured out what caused this. When Harry woke up, he asked us for help. You and I agreed to never let him go."
I blinked at her. "That counted as a vow?"
"If you sealed it, then yes it was," Pomfrey said with a deep frown.
"He did," Ginny agreed.
"I was waking from a nightmare! I was hardly coherent."
"Cognizant. You were coherent but probably not cognizant," Hermione corrected me.
I suddenly laughed. "Please never change, Hermione."
Ginny giggled. "Here we are, literally stuck to Harry, and you're correcting him? I think we have bigger problems than his vocabulary, but you're still you."
"For which I'm eternally grateful," I finished with a grin.
"Yes, well, vocabulary aside, I need to bring some help in to deal with this. The results of magical vows aren't exactly my area of expertise," Pomfrey said as she headed toward her office.
The three of us were left alone.
"Well, we may as well be comfortable," the ever practical Hermione said.
After some false starts and nearly pulling Ginny off of her feet once, we all managed to get into chairs. I was in the center facing the door, the girls on opposite sides facing in the other direction with a hand on each knee. That was the best we could do to more or less face each other. Once we were arranged, an awkward silence fell.
Ginny's face twisted into a grimace.
"What?" I asked her.
"Just trying to imagine Mum's reaction to this."
"I'm more worried about Gred and Forge," I admitted. "Imagine what the two of them will do to us if we're literally stuck together like this forever."
"Two words, Harry: Bat Bogey."
"Ah. Never mind."
"Ron," Hermione said, apparently still on the issue of who would react badly.
"I know you fancy him -" I started.
She shook her head. "No, I don't."
I gaped. "But all those times you two wound each other up," I objected.
She snorted in disgust. "Some sort of unresolved sexual tension? That's what I keep being told by the other girls. Bollocks to that. He annoys me, so I annoy him back. Petty of me, but there you are. We certainly can't build a relationship out of annoying each other." She shook her head. "No, Harry, I've never fancied him. Besides, don't you think I would have reacted more when Won-won and Lav-lav were doing their best to fuse their faces together with mutual suction?"
"Ew. I could have done without that mental image, thank you," Ginny said.
I grinned at her nauseated expression. "I'll try not to interrupt when you and Dean want some time alone."
She rolled her eyes as I heard Hermione's snicker. "You haven't sussed it out yet, Harry?" Hermione asked, amused.
"What?" I asked blankly
"She's not been going out with Dean."
"Huh?" I asked. "Yes, she has. I saw them in a broom cupboard."
She rolled her eyes. "Marauders Map," she answered succinctly.
I blinked rapidly for a moment before turning back to Ginny. "It was all a setup?"
Her eyes flickered over to Ginny. I presumed they shared an amused look. "Yes."
Ginny reached over with her free hand and smacked me on the side of my head. "For you, you prat."
"Huh?" I repeated intelligently.
Now Hermione reached over with her free hand and smacked me on the other side of my head. "I'll use small words," she said with a grin. "She never got over her crush."
"Though I fell for Harry instead of just the Boy Who Lived," Ginny interjected.
Hermione nodded. "Right. She had a crush on Harry. Through these years, you never saw her as anything other than Ron's little sister. So she wanted to make you jealous."
Privately, I thought that was a very juvenile thing to do. Not that I necessarily knew how adolescent relationships were supposed to work, though.
Hermione continued, "So she dated Michael for a while. You didn't seem to be getting jealous and Michael became . . ."
As Hermione visibly searched for a term, Ginny dryly said, "Adventurous."
"As good a word as any," Hermione agreed.
"What did he do?" I asked in a low growl.
"Nothing that you need to hurt him for," Ginny stated promptly. "His hands started wandering, but he backed off when I said, 'No.' He broke up with me shortly after that."
Hermione went on, "So Michael goes away. She still has the problem of trying to get you jealous. So she starts pretending she's dating the safest person in Gryffindor. Dean."
"How's Dean the safest? And isn't it kinda unfair to him to lead him on if you're just trying to get some other bloke jealous?" The fact that I was the other bloke didn't seem relevant at that point.
Ginny said, "He's safe because I know he wouldn't pursue me."
"Why wouldn't he pursue you?" I asked in genuine confusion. "You're pretty, smart, and a lot of fun to be around."
"I'm glad you think so," Ginny said with a blinding smile. "As to why he's safe, he bats for the other team."
I blinked, hard. "You're kidding me."
"Nope. I told him what was going on, and he agreed to help. Then he told me that he's been seeing Kevin for a couple years on the sly. This way, it looks like he's dating. He apparently had some trouble with homophobes previously."
Hermione grimaced. "It must have been during the summer." She shook her head in wry amusement. "The wizarding world is so conservative and regressive in all other areas. The one area they're more liberal is sexuality."
Ginny looked at her strangely. "Why not? Not like it takes a witch and a wizard to have a baby. There's these potions, see -"
"Stop," I begged.
She smiled beatifically at me. "Fear not, Harry. With how potent your . . . uh, magic is and the Weasley genetics, I'm sure we won't have to use any potions."
My brain threatened to implode as I heard Hermione sigh and say, "Ginny, there's a point of taste and subtlety in any conversation that you shouldn't cross."
"Am I about to cross that point?"
"No, no; look behind you."
She smirked at Hermione and then turned back to me. "There is one good side to being stuck together."
"What's that?" I asked warily. I definitely didn't like the predatory smile on her face.
"I can help wash your back in the shower, seeing as how I'm going to be there anyway."
I turned to Hermione. "Help," I pleaded in an unsteady voice.
She smiled. "Oh, goody. I get to wash your front, then?"
At this point my brain threatened to take a vacation.
I was saved from Permanent Brain Spasm Syndrome by Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Madam Pomfrey entering the Infirmary.
My expression of relief caused McGonagall and Flitwick to look perplexed. Dumbledore just twinkled.
Flitwick asked us to repeat the sequence of events as he waved his wand in increasingly complex patterns. McGonagall and Dumbledore watched closely but didn't interrupt.
By the end, Flitwick nodded in satisfaction and put his wand away with a smile. McGonagall pursed her lips but looked . . . resigned? Dumbledore twinkled more brightly.
"I know what happened," Flitwick announced with far too much amusement for the situation.
My heart dropped. "What?" I asked in dread.
"Oh, no need to be all so worried, Mr. Potter," he chided me with a smirk totally out of place on his usually cheerful face. "In short, Miss Granger and Miss Weasley swore an Oath to you. By your agreement, you sealed it. Their magic plus yours is holding them to the oath."
Both girls didn't look the least upset by this. "Um, can I just say that I release them?" I asked hopefully.
"It is, unfortunately, not that easy," McGonagall said.
"Of course not," I muttered. "Why do these things always seem to happen to me?"
"Because you're Harry Potter," both young witches chorused.
I groaned and buried my face in my hands.
McGonagall ignored the interruptions. "They literally have to hold you for the rest of your lives, literally or at least metaphorically."
"So what happens if they hold a piece of me?" I asked, looking up again and grasping at straws.
"I'm afraid I'm not following you, Mr. Potter. What did you have in mind?" Pomfrey asked.
"I don't know. A lock of hair or some blood or something."
"Not what I was hoping for," Ginny observed to Hermione sotto voce.
Flitwick's lip twitched. Dumbledore didn't even try to stifle his expanding grin. McGonagall's lips pursed, and I desperately ignored the flicker of amusement showing in her eyes.
I gave Ginny a sideways glance. "Unless you two want me to accompany you to the loo for the rest of your lives."
Both girls paled just a little bit.
Flitwick was looking thoughtful. "Not a bad idea, Mr. Potter." Everyone looked at him. "I meant the hair or blood," he explained with an eye roll. "Poppy?"
Pomfrey was already moving. She waved her wand and a I felt a slight tugging from the top of my head. Looking up, I saw what appeared to be scores of short hairs floating above me, already wrapping together. I heard Pomfrey mutter some sort of Sticking Charm and the small mass of hair, about the size and shape of a galleon, compacted just a bit.
Pomfrey plucked it out of the air and presented it to Ginny. The redhead held the disk of my hair in her free hand, and I felt her other hand pull at my arm. She shook her head and handed it to Hermione. The brunette had similar results.
Pomfrey next painlessly drew blood out of my arm. She absently answered Hermione's unasked question with, "The first half of a Transfusion Spell," as she directed the bright red liquid into a small collection container of the sort that I usually saw when harvesting liquids from plants for Herbology.
Both girls had no more luck with this talisman than the first. At McGonagall's suggestion, they each also tried while holding both, with no change.
"Now what?" I asked with waning hope.
"Originally you said that we had to hold him, literally or metaphorically, correct?" Hermione directed at McGonagall.
The older witch nodded confirmation.
"May I assume that any magical bond that still includes 'holding' him in some way would suffice?"
I did not like the grin she was sporting at this point.
"Yes," McGonagall said slowly, eyes narrowed as she gazed at Hermione. Flitwick also looked intrigued.
Dumbledore was in the throes of silent convulsions of laughter.
Pomfrey was looking at him in concern.
I felt little pity toward the man considering how hard he was laughing at the situation.
Hermione glanced at Ginny before turning to our Head of House. "I think I have heard of a vow that is not dark and fulfills the requirements."
"Please, Miss Granger, enlighten us."
"Well, the relevant line is, 'To have and to hold, from this day forth, until death do us part.''
It's annoying how my dreams always stop before I learn how they end.