Disclaimer: Not mine.
I have again requested a challenge. This one, demands a continuation of this story. Hope you enjoy.
Bella's Last Kiss
Harry stepped backwards, not taking his eyes off the vacant and glassy eyed witch in front of him. His only chance of escape, from the hovering Dementor, was to put as much distance between him and it as possible, and do it fast. As his feet found pavement and left the uneven ground, he turned and began to run, run until his lungs burned and he tasted blood in the back of this throat.
He fell, then leaned forward to rest on his hands and knees, his head lowered between his shoulders as he dragged in a great lungful of air, only to have his oxygen starved body refuse to accept it. In a racking fit of coughing, he rolled to his side, laid down and stared up at the black and star lit sky.
"Fuck," he gasped, when he was finally able to catch his breath.
Slowly the adrenalin quit pumping, his breathing began to steady and he had the where with all to lower his gaze from the sky and take in his surroundings. He lay in the middle of a darkened and seemingly deserted road. Where, he had no idea. The only light was that from the waning moon and stars, and two pinpoints of light on the horizon. Harry squinted at the lights, pushing his glasses up on his nose and saw the tiny light beams getting larger. Quickly.
"Bloody hell," he shouted, rolling out of the way of a large lurching vehicle, surprised and relieved to see it stop, impossibly fast, within inches of his legs.
"All aboard, 'urry you up. Got anot'er un need 'elp getten on down to Surry."
"Surry?" Harry asked, blinking up at the Knight Bus. "That you Ern?"
" 'ou else it be? 'urry on now, 'urry on."
"Ummm…yeah. Where are we? I mean…I can get myself home if I…"
" Those legs best be stronger than 'ey look." Ern snorted out a laugh and jerked his head to the back of the bus, signaling Harry to board. "Can't walk it … and if'n you use underage magic 'ey'll git ya fer it."
"Umm, yeah…well, sure," Harry muttered uncertainly as he climbed the two steps, peering over the wall that separated the stairs from the rest of the bus. He had his right foot on the first stair, his left raised to purchase the second when the Knight Bus took off, throwing him against the wall and smacking his head into the guard rail. Ern spun the wheel and turned a corner as Harry lurched into the main aisle and slammed the back of his legs into the edge of the first row of seats. He began to topple, into a sitting position, when Ern turned another corner and sent Harry sprawling in the opposite direction.
"Make way, make way," Ern called out as he yanked on a lever and the door flew open, at the same time the bus came to a screeching halt, giving Harry the impression he had enough time to stand and get to a seat before they started again.
"Mr. Prang, I will not get on this infernal thing until you give me your word as a wizard and a gentleman that you will wait until I am seated." A small weak voice could be heard over the din of the motor.
Harry wrinkled his nose and peered down from the window. Grinning he tapped on the glass and waved at Miss Figg. "Ern…you listen to her," he said, hurrying to the door and help her up. "Miss Figg, let me help you with that."
"No need," she said lightly as she dragged two cases and a package behind her. "My mother, dear soul, all alone up here now-a-days. Such a shame. My dear mother spells them for me. Lightens them as it is."
"At least let me lift them up to the storage compartment."
"Oh my, no." Miss Figg put her hand on Harry's arm, glanced around to make sure they were not being over heard, and leaned forward to whisper in his ear. "It's dangerous you know. Things fall down and fly around in here. Terrible it is. Just terrible."
"Well," Harry muttered, trying to find a place to put her belongings.
"Harry, do be a dear and sit." She hoisted up a suitcase, laid it on the seat and patted the top of it, indicating that he sit on it. "It helps you see."
"Yeah," he grinned, seeing her do the same with the second suitcase and then sit and hug the small package to her chest. "Where are we?"
"Where are we? Wales of course. North shore."
"How long…"Harry began as the bus took off, careening from one side of the road to the other. Twice Harry closed his eyes expecting to hear metal grind on metal only to feel the tires hit gavel and a jolt as the bus left the road. "…will it take?" He finally managed to croak.
"Not long, dear. Did you want a lay down?"
"No, I …no."
"Tell me, Harry. Why did you leave your Aunt's house? You know it is dangerous and where is that scoundrel that should be watching you?"
Miss Figg sighed loudly and made a mental note to notify the Order or this development. Harry Potter was too important, and things coming to a head much too quickly, to have something go amiss now. "Never mind that right now. What were you doing up here?"
"You are cold…and on such a warm night." She studied his face closely as the bus came to another break-neck stop. "My goodness. I should have taken the Muggle train."
"Yeah…well, it was hot at the Dursley's so I came up here." He swallowed and pushed his glasses up on his nose, wrinkling his forehead as he did.
"We need to get those fixed." Miss Figg reached out and grabbed the glasses off his face as a third passenger climbed aboard and the bus lurched forward again.
"So, who do we have here?" A man's low, silky voice whispered.
"I go by Miss Figg to you," she said, her voice shaking. "This is my…my nephew."
Just then the bus accelerated, making it impossible for the strange man, his face obscured by his hooded cape, to continue standing. As he pulled himself along, using the chair backs for support, and slouched in the back row or seats.
Miss Figg clutched Harry's hand watching the dark robed man from the corner of her eye. "Get off with me on Magnolia, Harry. He will have a hard time following us with Muggles about." Waiting until she saw him nod, she turned back to the seat the man had taken, only to see it empty and him, no place in sight.
"Oh, my…" she stammered and began to open the package she held. "Is that young man around? The one that …"
"Stanley, I didn't see him," Harry gasped as the bus took yet another jaunt off the road, up over the curb, around a tree and back again. "Ern! Where is Stanley?"
"You call?" Stanley chuckled from behind Harry. "Thought I'd 'ave and easy night of it."
"Young man," Miss Figg called his attention to her and handed him a tin. "My Mum made these biscuits and there is no way I can possibly eat them myself. Do be a dear and pass them out to passengers."
"Right." Stanley grabbed the tin and peered inside. "Looks right good they do."
"Are you allergic to anything?" Miss Figg asked sweetly, then clicked her tongue when he admitted he could not eat peanuts. "Peanut oil, I used peanut oil. Best pass them all out. Next time I will make sure to bring something you can have."
Harry watched as Stanley walked away. "Miss Figg…"
"Now, he will be sleeping when we reach Magnolia. Do be a dear boy and keep your wand handy."
"My wand…yeah…it's right here," he said and patted his pocket then swiveled his head back to look for Stanley. "Miss Figg? What was in the biscuits?"
"A little of this and a little of that."
"Oh, Harry, you don't think an old woman like me could go out without some protection," she answered, watching Harry's eyes grow large and a lopsided grin begin to spread. "Now, now…just a little something to help him sleep. Now, get ready, we are almost there."