A/N: Hey everyone and welcome to a special short written for Echoh!
For those interested, I have numerous other works, all of which are in the Harry Potter fandom other than one in the PJ universe.
As usual, a big thanks to my Beta's and Discord Staff - Alec, Alpple, Babo, CalamityXx, Champ, DorianGray, NerdDragonVoid, O'Neill, Seventh Son, SinisterFox, Theo and Xevier!
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Late in the Evening
Snape sucke- sorry, Professor Snape sucked.
Harry didn't have a clue why Dumbledore was so insistent that he learned Occlumency from the man who resented him on account of who his father was rather than any real reason, moreover, when he'd tried complaining, Professor Dumbledore hadn't listened all that much, the man seemed entirely too distant for his liking.
As a result of that, Harry was left with constant lessons that resulted in nothing more than a searing headache and a growing hatred towards the man who already felt that same feeling towards him. Worse yet, he had to walk up from the dungeons of the school, where the Slytherins like Malfoy or the lot he hung out with so often loitered.
He had no cl- Harry paused and took a few steps back, stopping his thinking in favour of focusing on his hearing… for a split second while passing a few empty classrooms with doors opened, he thought he heard a sob.
Seconds passed in a silence that had him doubting his sanity until, there it was, another sob that came directly from his left. He peeked at the door in case there was some written warning or a note that'd explain it considering this was Hogwarts and all, but nothing was seen aside from a rusted handle as well as dusty footprints leading in — he took careful notice to ensure it was only one too, the last thing he needed was an ambush on his way back.
Taking another few steps closer after ensuring there wasn't a whole group of Slytherins or other problematic beings inside, he heard the sobbing grow slightly louder, but did he dare go enter into a room with what sounded like a witch crying? He was complete and utter bollocks with consoling crying witches, he knew that with absolute certainty, but he also knew he wasn't one to leave someone in distress, regardless of who it was (Malfoys, Crabbes and Goyles excluded)
After a deep breath for confidence's sake, Harry stepped into the room while not trying to mask his presence and took in the crying witch, of whom it took a second to locate based on where she'd been sitting; in the furthest corner in a chair that looked conjured. As for who it was that he'd unknowingly came to aid, well that was an easy one based on the girl's sheer height along with the chubby, curvy figure she had.
"Bulstrode?" He questioned cautiously, halting his walking when her head shot up to take him in, "Is everything alright? I heard you from the hall and thought I'd check in on… you."
"I'm fine, Potter," Millicent stood up from her seat and rubbed at her puffy, leaking eyes. He could clearly see the smeared makeup that signified a crying girl as well as the tear tracks that'd been running down her face; far be it from him to say what anyone was feeling, but he knew she was far from 'fine' as she'd said.
"Are you sure? I could hel-"
"I said I'm fine, Potter," Millicent stopped rubbing at her eyes and coolly regarded him, her pose portraying faux strength despite the shakiness of her body, "There's nothing I need your help with. Leave, please."
No sooner than her words register did the moral dilemma hit him; what did he do? On the one hand, he did want to leave, but on the other hand, he knew it wasn't the right thing to do when somebody was in need of help — he'd held Hermione after the Yule Ball, he'd tried providing comfort for Cho before, despite how that'd gone and he'd helped Ginny multiple times when she got her temper up.
Bulstrode was different though, he told himself, she didn't know him and probably didn't like him on account of her house, even if he'd rarely seen her with housemates outside of Greengrass or the other brunette girl, Davey or something along that line.
His moral dilemma kept him looking at the Amazonian-like woman until she eventually looked away, fresh tears running down her face.
"Did Parkinson send you here?"
"What?" Harry didn't know any other Parkinson's other than Pansy, and almost everyone knew how well the two of them got on; hint, they didn't.
Millicent turned back to him with her fists balled up, "Did she send you down here to laugh at me?" she took a step closer to Harry, the height difference and her musculature more pronounced the closer she got, "Or maybe, she sent you down here to be the one that 'comforts' me before she comes back — she's a vindictive bitch," Millicent took another few steps closer and despite the tears still falling from her eyes, he didn't doubt her ability to grapple him until he couldn't move, "Which is it, Harry? Why've you stayed here so long already?"
Doing what first came to mind and acting on pure instinct, he raised his hands to show he meant no threat. He followed that up by saying the exact reason he'd entered the room.
"I wanted to help, nobody else is nearby."
Bulstrode's eyes were locked on his, her gaze unwavering until she finally fell into a seat a few desks away from him.
"I said you couldn't help already, there's nothing you could do, not unless you were in Slytherin."
He sat down in the seat beside hers.
"I could still try."
Bulstrode laughed and wiped at her eyes, "Yeah? How would you stop Pug-face Parkinson from calling me unsavoury names or getting the other girls in her clique from doing the same? How could you stop them from changing my shampoo or other products to edible ones on account of my size?" she motioned at her body; her shapely figure, sizable chest, height, all of it went against what most considered beautiful, but he didn't think so.
In a way, she reminded him of an Amazonian girl from some muggle show he'd glanced at, or a brunette Viking girl from history books.
"I could teach you how to beat them if that's what stops you," Harry answered. "If it isn't, tell me why you don't retaliate and I'll help you. Greengrass and Davis too, if they need it, I've seen you sit with them before."
Bulstrode watched him in silence for a few seconds, her facial emotions shifting from doubt to disbelief and finally, a tentative smile that he'd never seen on the girls face across their entire time together in Hogwarts.
"You're telling the truth, aren't you Potter? This isn't a lie?" Bulstrode's voice still had disbelief evident in her tone.
But, the smile was as good a start as he could hope for; it was certainly better than her demanding he leave!
"No, I'm not lying, messing with you or doing anything else in opposition" — Harry scratched at an itch on his chin slowly, not wanting to startle the girl into thinking he was reaching for a wand or something else with a quick motion — "You've probably heard the rumours and all, but I assist some friends of mine with DADA, I could do the same for you if you'd like… if that won't help, tell me what will and I'm sure we'll come up with something."
He hadn't a clue why he was so invested in helping her now, but seeing the tentative smile grow into something larger was something Harry very much enjoyed.
"Pansy and the others who follow her never resort to violence for fear of reprisal — they're not talented in the slightest, though even you could probably guess that, no offence meant. She and the other bints who follow her around just need to get put in their place. If you could help me scare them enough, I've no doubt they'll stop with petty name-calling and other offensive actions just because their boys look at me," Bulstrode once again looked down at her body, though this time with a frown directed at two prominent pieces of said body.
Looking back on it years later, Harry would claim that he hadn't looked along with her, but that'd be the most blatant lie he'd ever have told.
"I'm game," He said. "How'll we scare them without Pansy running off to Draco or Sn- Professor Snape?"
Bulstrode bit her lip and leaned forward in the desk, her height making her left arm slide off the front of it.
"Ah," She snapped her fingers, "I've got it — Draco claims you're very good with your disillusionment charm on account of some snowball incident that involved Granger and Ronald, perhaps you could show me how mine fails and once it's corrected, we could do something similar to Pansy as you'd done to Draco. If that fails, you're pretty close with the Weasley Twins, I'm sure you could put in a word or two for products of theirs and once obtained, I could handle the practical usage of them."
"How would you go about doing that second bit?" Harry asked, the former plan being more dangerous on account of his not mastering the disillusionment charm and instead relying on something he wasn't sure he wanted any knowledge getting leaked on.
"Quite easily. You see, while they love replacing my products or other belongings with various mock materials or food, they forget that I could just as easily do the same to them… if I had the resources" — Bulstrode paused and glanced at Harry peculiarly, an expression crossing her face that he'd not seen from her yet — "There is a third plan too, now that I think about it, though it'd require being launched in unison with one of the former two."
Harry's instincts told him to grab his wand based on her gaze alone, and he nearly did; the rational part ended up winning, however, thus he remained watching her, albeit with a heightened level of security in case she suddenly did something unsavory.
As it turned out, he should've trusted his instincts, as the girl stood up fast enough that his early comparison to a warrior woman of old was right on the money — no sooner than she stood up due to her height, she reached him in one stride from the previous two desk lengths that'd been between them.
"Don't be nervous," Bulstrode's husky voice said reassuringly as her presence loomed over him, "I'm not going to hurt the boy who promised to help me; far from it," she closed the distance between them until her face was only inches from his, "I'd like to preemptively reward him for helping me, if that'd be okay."
He didn't know what to think of it all; between with her promising words, sultry, husky tone and most of all, her very close proximity.
Her smirking at him didn't help, nor did the incessant pawing at his robes that started ten seconds into his silence.
Eventually, some twenty seconds after she'd spoken and done what she had, his ability to think returned.
His first thought was what his mates would think if he ended up getting romantically involved with a witch who had at least four or five inches of height on him as well as twenty pounds… that thinking ended up bringing him to the conclusion that he didn't care what they thought, he'd give it a go and see if he'd finally be able to make something work at Hogwarts.
"Ok," Harry finally answered.
Bulstrode didn't wait for a second longer, and smashed her lips to his in what had to be the most demanding snogging he'd felt, seen or heard of.
A few minutes later when they broke apart and Bulstrode was watching him with her large chest heaving, she spoke with a soft smile.
"I owe you a few more 'thank yous' than that, Harry. Especially if our plan works."
He swallowed and kept his eyes locked on hers.
"It'll work, I promise, Bulst- Millicent."
"Milly," She said, closing the gap between them again. "After what we just did, call me Milly."