A/N: This story was written in response to Mistress of Malfoy's First Kiss Challenge posted on the adultfanfiction[dot]net forums. In order to follow her guidelines I've had to change a few things, but you'll catch on quickly as you read this chapter. Basically ignore Deathly Hallows and the majority of Half-Blood Prince. Horcruxes and Hallows have no play in my story.
So read on! And don't forget to review :D
Chapter 01 – The Kiss
The day Harry Potter turned seventeen was one of his more glorious memories at number four Privet Drive. The Dursley's must have forgotten it was his birthday because Harry was sure if they had remembered, they would have been even more suspicious of his delinquent behavior than usual. And if they had remembered, even a personal invitation to the White House wouldn't have convinced them to leave Harry alone in their immaculate home.
As it was, Uncle Vernon had treated his wife and son to an opera that night and they had departed only a minute ago in tux and gown.
With a relieved sigh, Harry shut the door on his uncle's taillights and turned into the empty sitting room. For a moment he debated raiding the refrigerator without owlish Aunt Petunia snatching whatever treasures he found out of his hands. But he'd just had a rather large dinner of secret birthday cake from his best friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and so wasn't hungry.
"A movie then," he decided, crossing to the shelves stuffed full of Dudley's DVD's.
As he rummaged through one of the rows he was surprised to come across a generic romance hidden between two of Dudley's more gruesome looking action thrillers. The cover portrayed a black and white picture of a couple engaged in a sweet kiss as they spun over a dance floor crowded by big-skirted women and suited men.
With a shrug, Harry popped it into the player and settled in to watch.
"Sarah! Oh, my beautiful Sarah! Could you ever love me half as much as I love you?"
"I'll love you half as much, Jonathon. And twice as much, too! Say we'll be together forever."
"Forever, my darling. Forever."
The movie ended with the scene from the box. But this time it stirred something in Harry. Throughout the movie Sarah and Jonathon's love had been put well through its paces. Any hardship a couple could face, Sarah and Jonathon had faced. But for all its clichés, Harry couldn't help but be sucked into the movie. And to see it end so happily gave him butterflies.
Digging through the seat cushions, Harry scooped up the remote control and rewound the movie.
"—Twice as much, too! Say we'll be together forever."
"Forever, my darling. Forever."
They kissed again.
And again, and again, and again. Until they were frozen on the television screen, Sarah bent backwards and clinging to Jonathon's forearms, Jonathon hugging Sarah excruciatingly close. Passion poured from them even in their motionlessness.
Harry had never been more mesmerized by a kiss.
Two years ago he had dated Cho Chang, however fleetingly. Once, he remembered, she had leaned in subtly for a kiss. But just before she could touch her lips to his he feigned distraction and escaped to the restrooms before she could get her feelings hurt. Shortly after, he was relieved when she admitted a crush on Roger Davies and they parted ways.
But that wasn't the end of it. All through their sixth year, Hermione tried again and again to set him up with various Hogwarts girls. Harry told her he had no time for girls, obligated as he was by the newly resurrected Lord Voldemort. Secretly, though, none of the girls he was presented with held any appeal for him. In fact, girls in general had seemed to lose their attraction. But he chose to ignore this revelation in favor of throwing himself into private lessons with his headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
Now that Harry knew about the prophecy tying his life to Voldemort, Dumbledore had decided it was time for him to learn a few tricks that might help him survive. On obscure nights, by way of randomly delivered notes, Dumbledore had invited Harry into his office where he learned loads of different things.
Sometimes he and Dumbledore brewed potions far more advanced than students learned even in NEWT classes. Sometimes they practiced wandwork; non-verbal spells and even one or two wandless spells. Often Dumbledore sat Harry in a chair and attempted over and over to dive into his mind while Harry struggled to keep him out. Though Harry had hated these very lessons while under the tutelage of Professor Severus Snape in his fifth year, Dumbledore proved a much better teacher and Harry progressed quickly.
By the end of his sixth year, Harry was an accomplished Occlumens, an amateur Legilimens, an excellent potion brewer, and an apt dueler. For the most part he could hold his own in subdued duels with Dumbledore. However, he mostly retained the defensive, never quite able to flip the attack back on Dumbledore. He still struggled thoroughly with non-verbal spells and didn't know nearly the variety of spells Dumbledore did anyway.
Harry was shaken from his memories by an owl swooping through the open window and dropping an envelope on his head. Before he could even retrieve it from the ground, the owl had gone. Harry tore the seal and read:
I will be arriving at your place of residence in approximately ten minutes time. Please be ready to leave immediately upon my arrival.
It took Harry five seconds to read the note and another five to digest it. Then he shot from the couch and was up the stairs in moments, already hurling his possessions into his open trunk the moment he crossed the threshold of his bedroom. It was only when he shoved the last of his school books into the overflowing trunk and forced the lid closed that the doorbell rang.
Taking the stairs two at a time, Harry raced to the door and flung it open to admit the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Same as ever, Dumbledore stood erect on the porch, his white hair and beard shining in the streetlamps, his blue eyes twinkling over his half-moon spectacles. His wand hung loosely at his side but Harry knew that it could twitch up in the blink of an eye should anything dangerous threaten them.
"Good evening, Harry," Dumbledore said, smiling.
"Evening, Professor," replied Harry. If it hadn't been for the identical situation during his last summer vacation, he would have been having a hard time processing the vision of Albus Dumbledore on his magic-hating muggle family's doorstep. As it was, he only returned the smile and said; "My things are packed. I'll just go—"
"Allow me." Dumbledore raised his wand and with a tiny swish Harry's trunk and owl cage, complete with his snowy white owl, Hedwig, soared gracefully down the stairs and preceded Harry out the door.
"Er, should we lock up?" Harry glanced back at the brightly lit house and wide open front door. But as he watched, the windows went dark and the door swung closed with a click of the lock.
"Already taken care of," was Dumbledore's response. "Now, if you don't mind, Harry, I'd like you to take firm hold of my elbow. Yes, like that. Off we go."
Not for the first time in his life, Harry had the unpleasant sensation of being squeezed through a tube that was much too small for him. When he popped out the other side his eyes watered slightly but there was no other reaction. Amazingly, he seemed to be slowly growing accustomed to Apparition.
"Well," Harry mused as he glanced around the familiar yard they were in now. A few chickens were clucking and scurrying away from their appearance. "That seemed a little too easy."
Dumbledore chuckled. "Did it seem that way to you?"
With confusion, Harry looked at Dumbledore. For a moment he reminisced on years back when he'd had to look up to see those blue eyes. Now they were about level with his own. "Wasn't it?" he asked.
"Do you mean—"
"Yes, Harry, there are quite a few Death Eaters stationed outside of your aunt and uncle's home at this very moment. It took a good portion of my own genius—if it isn't too bold of me to say—to get myself into the protective ward around the house without their noticing me." Here Dumbledore chuckled again. "And the rest of my genius to get you out."
Despite Dumbledore's seemingly relaxed air, Harry was suddenly worried. "Aren't the Dursley's in danger then?"
"Oh no," Dumbledore assured him. "It seems as though someone let it slip to one of Voldemort's spies that you secretly despise your relatives and wish them nothing more than a slow and painful death."
Harry gasped. "But I don't wish that!"
"Ah," Dumbledore held up a finger. "But Voldemort thinks you do. And as your greatest enemy he is perfectly inclined to give you exactly whatever it is that you fdon't want the most. Therefore, he's more than happy to leave your relatives alive and intact. It is one of Voldemort's more petty decisions."
Now Harry laughed outright. "And were you the one who let this information slip to the spy, sir?" he asked with amusement.
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled but he said nothing more on the subject.
"Now, Harry, I won't repeat myself. I find it incommodious. But I would like you to take a moment to remember what I asked of you approximately a year ago in that very shed." He gestured to the beaten down outhouse on the edge of the Weasley's front lawn.
For a moment Harry had to really think. The only thing he clearly remembered from that morning was pondering over the news that he would be taking private lessons with Dumbledore that year. But finally it did click and he nodded solemnly.
"The same precautions are being taken around the Burrow to protect me as last year."
"Indeed, they are."
"Don't worry, sir. I'll be on my best behavior," Harry promised.
Dumbledore clapped Harry on the shoulder with a smile. "Excellent!" he said. "And that's one more thing I can check off my never-ending list. You know, I'm beginning to understand the fondness muggles have for their tradition of retirement. I think I would enjoy a vacation on a beach some day with nothing and no one awaiting my return. Good evening, Harry!"
Then, with a pop, he disappeared, leaving Harry laughing. It was not so many years ago when he had imagined just that; Dumbledore relaxing on a beach with a nose bleached white from sunscreen.
"Who's there?" someone called from the front door of the towering house behind him. "Harry? Is that you?"
"It's me," Harry smiled and was suddenly engulfed in a squealing mess of bushy brown hair.
"About time, mate. We were beginning to think you were skipping off somewhere without us."
Ron Weasley stepped out of the house behind Hermione, grinning broadly. Though, Harry noticed, his ears were slightly pink until Hermione pulled herself off of him.
"Tell us everything, Harry!" she demanded, leading the two back in the door. "How has your summer been? Did you have any trouble leaving the Dursley's? Any more assignments from Dumbledore?"
"Slow down, Hermione," Ron said, laying a hand on her shoulder and leaving it there even after she'd settled some. "He can only answer one question at a time." But he still looked to Harry with the same expression of expectancy as Hermione.
Harry paused for a moment, thinking. Dobby had visited him at the Dursley's during the beginning of summer vacation. But nothing exciting had happened then. Dudley and his gang had been caught by the muggle police attempting to shave one of Mrs. Figg's cats. But Harry didn't think they were interested in Dudley. Dumbledore had lied to a Death Eater and now the Dursley's had their own squad of personal Death Eater bodyguards. He might have told them about that. Ron surely would have gotten a kick out of it.
But then something else popped into his head; a memory that already seemed distant; a spinning couple, revolving on a dance floor, professing their undying love for each other, stealing a kiss in their moment of passion.
It was something he'd never thought about before. It was something that had never been important to him until now. But it was all that was on his mind as he shrugged off his best friends' questions and prepared for bed in the top room of the Burrow.