Title: Harry Potter and the Unexpected Power
Summary: In his sixth year, Harry meets an unexpected visitor at school and not only does she like him, but she can help him beat Voldemort.
(A/N: Here's a plot bunny that I've had lying around since Sep 2012 and it jumped to the top of my queue as I took a break from writing my next story. It's a short one, only 6 chapters. A note about its origin will come at the end of the story so I don't give some of the fun away. Enjoy… Kevin)
Harry Potter and the Unexpected Power
Chapter 1 - The Visitor
(Sat, Oct 5)
Harry glanced up from his studies without moving his head to see his two best friends arguing again. Closing his eyes, he tried to push his slowly growing headache away - with no success. To try to prevent the slight throbbing from getting worse, he packed his stuff quickly and quietly so he could slip out of the Gryffindor common room. He thought that after over five years they would have exhausted all contention between them and either been calm friends or killed each other.
Desiring peace and quiet, he went up the stairs to the Room of Requirement instead of down to the library which would have more people present than he wanted to deal with. There was also the possibility that he might run into Draco Malfoy there, which he didn't want unless he could find out what the Slytherin was doing.
He sighed as he considered his school nemesis. Malfoy was up to something, of that Harry had no doubt. However, his two best friends had plenty of doubt, as if they had suddenly forgotten they were in a war. Their suspicions in Diagon Alley about Malfoy seemed to have been shelved when they reached Hogwarts. He shook his head as he pulled the strap of his book bag higher on his shoulder.
Reaching the proper spot, Harry paced back and forth thinking of his need for a place that was quiet and away from everyone else so he could study. The door for the magical room appeared and he entered. Harry nodded as he looked around - it was the perfect study for a house. He couldn't have designed one better if he had tried.
Dropping his bag on the desk, careful not to disturb anything there, he walked over to the window and looked over the school grounds for a moment. The sight of the Quidditch pitch made him wonder yet again if he should be the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain. He had decided over the summer that he was going to take his studies a lot more seriously. He knew he'd never be like Hermione in regards to his scores, but he was going to try a lot harder to learn the material: the theoretical and the application. The disaster in the Department of Mysteries a few months earlier had pointed out a few uncomfortable truths.
Returning to the desk, he opened his bag and pulled his Charms homework back out. Eyeing the pitcher of water available, he poured himself a glass and sipped at it as he read over what he already written to get back into the flow of it.
Nearly two hours later, he rolled up his completed Transfiguration homework. It was then that he realized how comfortable the chair was. It really was the perfect study room.
Looking at the clock, he decided he had some time before he really had to go and decided to practice his animation skills. Looking around the room, he spotted a number of toy soldiers on the shelf that he didn't remember seeing before, but they did fulfill his need. Grabbing them, he set them on the floor and started working the charms on them, what was discussed in the homework as well as other variations that he could think of.
When his time came to return to his dorm room to put his things up so he could go to dinner, he scooped up the soldiers and put them back on the shelf. As he turned around, he heard the door close causing him to spin, his wand out and pointing in that direction.
He was surprised, totally surprised, causing him to keep his wand trained on the girl he'd never seen before. She looked to be about his age and he would have sworn he knew everyone in the top three years, even if he hadn't ever spoken with many of them.
It only took a moment for him to realize just how attractive she was. She wasn't quite beautiful, her facial features were a little too sharp, but her slightly wavy long dark brown hair was almost black and luxurious. Her figure was pleasing, not too big but not too small either; she was also about his height, perhaps an inch or so shorter. She was in new looking jeans, looking like any Muggle girl on the street in them, but her blouse was a deep red, form fitting, and had a high collar, harkening back to an earlier time. The front had a deep "V", all the way to the bottom of her moderate breasts. He wasn't sure if she was wearing a bra or not, the material was fairly heavy, but he suspected she wasn't by the depth of the cut in the middle. Brown leather slippers completed her outfit. It was a very striking look.
"Who are you?" he finally managed to get out, at about the same time she smiled brightly and said, "Hi!"
"I was looking around the castle," she said. "Is it all right that I'm here?"
"It's fine, but you surprised me. I didn't think anyone else could get in here while I'm here. Who are you? I don't think I've ever seen you before." He didn't lower his wand or let his guard down.
"Oh, I'm Heidi. I'm visiting and this is the first time I've been here like this. Who are you?" She stood there seemingly not bothered by his pointing his wand at her.
"I'm Harry. Who did you come here to visit?" he asked, still wary of her.
"I'm related to one of the professors and had some free time so I thought I'd look around." She started looking at parts of the room as if inspecting it all. "What is this place? Just a room to study?"
"Yeah," Harry answered, slowly lowering his wand but not putting it away, wondering if she was for real or a Death Eater in disguise. If she was a Death Eater, she was the prettiest one he had ever seen. "I came here to study as the common room was too loud."
She nodded. "I can understand. I prefer the quieter times, but there are times it's nice to have others around also. What were you studying?"
"Charms then Transfiguration," he replied, trying to figure out who she might be related too, as she didn't look very much like any of the professors.
"Can I see? I'll look over it for you if you like," she offered as she walked towards the desk.
Harry almost did a double take. That was said so much like Hermione he would have sworn his friend was here.
"I think what I have is correct, but do you know sixth year material?" he asked, trying to guess her age.
"Sure, I know seventh year material too. I'm seventeen, I think." Without asking, she pulled Harry's homework out of the top of his bag.
"You think? How can you not know how old you are?"
She unrolled his homework and started to look at it as she said, "Because I don't know exactly, only approximately. Those you could call my mother and father are dead, so my birthday is a guess."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I know what that's like. My parents were killed when I was one year old," he told her sympathetically.
Lowering the parchment, she gave him a concerned look. "I'm sorry for you too, Harry." She brightened suddenly. "I guess that's something we have in common." She set the first one down. "That was pretty good, you should get an outstanding for it." Unrolling the second, she began to look at his Transfiguration homework.
"You read that very quickly," he commented, feeling a little more at ease, but not totally.
"I read quickly," she said with a shrug of indifference, as if everyone could do it.
"If you're only visiting, where do you normally stay?" he asked her, trying to find out more.
"Wherever I can," she said before holding his homework out to him. "I think an Exceeds Expectation for this one. If you'll work in the Fourth Law of Transfiguration and how it applies, I think you'll probably get an Outstanding."
"Really, but how does … oh, yes, I think I understand now. That's not something I would have thought of and the book doesn't mention it." He put his wand down on the desk and pulled out a quill and some ink. He'd make a note and redo it later this evening.
"You're welcome," she told sweetly.
Harry couldn't help the blush. "Err, yeah, thanks! Thanks for the help."
"I'm glad to help. Maybe I'll come by and check here next time I come to visit and see if you're here." She walked up to him and stood toe-to-toe with him and looked him in the eyes, as if trying to read his soul. Suddenly without warning, she moved forward and kissed him on the cheek. "You're kind of cute too," she told him with a giggle before turning and walking towards the door.
Harry was so surprised by the kiss and the motion of her walking, that he didn't say anything until she reached the door. "Err, thanks, you're pretty and smart."
Stopping, she looked over her shoulder at him for a moment, smiling. "Thank you, Harry." She blew him a kiss with just her lips and walked out the door.
He stared at the closed door for just a moment before he ran to it and yanked it open. Looking both ways down the corridor, he was surprised that he didn't see her. It was like she just vanished, or she had a Cloak of Invisibility, he thought.
Harry walked back over and packed his things again and dropped them off in his dorm room before arriving a few minutes late for dinner.
As he sat down for dinner with his two best friends, Ron looked at him with concern. "Where have you been all afternoon, mate? I haven't seen you since just after lunch?" Hermione looked curious as well.
Considering how much and what he wanted to tell, something that had occupied much of his walk to dinner, he finally decided very little. "I wanted some time alone to study. You know, like how Hermione goes off to the library," he finished with a grin.
"All afternoon on a Saturday?" Ron asked, his voice rising in pitch a little.
"Sure, I wanted to get ahead a little, especially since we have practice tomorrow," Harry told his friend, hoping to change the subject.
"That's very commendable of you, Harry," Hermione told him. "Perhaps others need to be as studious." She glared at Ron.
As they started to argue, Harry tuned them out and looked around the room. Nowhere did he see Heidi and he wanted to talk to her some more. He had enjoyed their conversation, when he didn't feel he was tongue-tied. All the professors who usually came to dinner were already there, so did that mean she belonged to Madam Pince or Pomfrey?'
"Harry, who are you looking for?" Hermione asked him, looking at him curiously.
"Huh? Oh, no one specifically; just seeing who was here," he lied successfully. "Also wanted to see if Malfoy was looking suspicious." That was mostly truthful.
"Isn't he always?" Ron quipped, earning him a glare, one that was also turned on Harry.
"I don't understand your concern, Harry. Yes," she told him with a raised hand as he started to object, "I know he was rude to you earlier this year on the Hogwarts Express, but it's been over a month now and he's ignored you since. Let it go, Harry," she implored him.
"Hermione, I … never mind, I don't want to argue with you." Harry hurriedly returned to eating, although not with the impolite and uncontrolled abandon that Ron did. Thankfully, she didn't continue the argument either.
That made Harry wonder why she and Ron argued so much. He wondered if maybe they liked each other and arguing was their way of spending time together, or maybe it was some sort of dominance game. Whatever, as little as he knew about relationships, he knew arguing was not a good basis for being together and he hoped they didn't try. If they did, he thought it would go badly and one of them would hurt the other terribly, unless one or both of them changed greatly.
As they all walked back to their dorms, Harry mentally kicked himself as he remembered one of the tools he always kept on him now days. Dashing up the stairs to his room for privacy, he pulled out the Marauder's Map and activated it as he sat down. Looking it over carefully, Harry didn't find a single Heidi on it. With a sigh, he wiped the Map clean and put it back in his pocket before returning downstairs to spend the evening with his friends.
(Sun, Oct 6)
Sundays were normally used by most students as the day they used to catch up on any work due for the next few days and to work on any long-term projects. Harry and his friends were no exception, especially when Hermione insisted. That was leading to a problem as Harry wanted to break away on his own and was having trouble without bring attention to himself.
"Hmm," Harry voiced softly, "I wonder if I'm going to need to go to the library to finish this Potions assignment." He tried to be casual about it.
"I'll probably need to go in a few minutes too," Hermione said.
"We could go fly for a few minutes until she's done," Ron said hopefully, earning him a massive glare from the female of the group.
Deciding he was going to have to stick his neck out, Harry told them. "We have an hour of Quidditch practice late this afternoon, flying will have to wait until then." Hermione smiled at him and he gave her a slight nod as he started to stuff his things into his bag. "However, I do need to go to the library before I can go further and I need some time alone to clear my brain after everything I've done this morning, so I'm going to take a walk then go find the book I need. I'll either see you in the library or at lunch."
He sighed with relief when Ron gave him a grumpy, "Later mate" and Hermione gave him a tight-lipped nod. Having ditched his friends, which made him feel a little guilty, he headed out the portrait hole. Taking care to make sure he wasn't being followed, he headed to the Room of Requirement.
Pacing back and forth produced a door and he hurried in. He was very surprised to see Heidi already sitting in a chair near the window with a book in her hand. She had a different pair of jeans with tall soft leather boots and a loose blouse with a leather lace-up vest - again, that mixture of modern and old.
When she looked up, she smiled brightly at him. "Harry, you came!" She bounced up, dropping the book in her chair before skipping over. He barely pulled his bag off of his shoulder to drop it on the floor before she arrived, throwing her arms around him. "I wasn't sure you'd try to find me again."
Harry put his arms around her and returned the hug with a guilty pleasure, feeling the warm and very pretty smelling girl pressed against him.
Just as quickly as it had happened, she pulled back, although her hand slid down his arm and grabbed his hand. "Come talk with me, Harry," she told him sweetly as she pulled him across the room to her chair that stretched into a two-seat settee, where she dropped onto one cushion and almost propelled him to the other.
He smiled at her, enjoying her carefree behavior more than he would have expected. "So," he paused feeling a little embarrassed, "you wanted me to come find you?"
"Yes, it can get so boring here most of the time and you were fun to talk to yesterday." She played with his fingers a little, still not having let go of his hand, while she looked at his face.
For some reason, that embarrassed him more. He really needed to spend more time with girls to get over this shyness, he thought. "I, uh, I looked for you at dinner and didn't see you."
She nodded and said, "Uh-hmm. I haven't ever eaten meals in the Great Hall and I left before then anyway." She looked shy for a moment. "But I did come back this morning to see if I could find you."
Harry couldn't help his smile as he looked down and saw her perfectly painted fingernails as she continued to play with his hand. "I enjoyed talking with you too." He moved his thumb to run it over the back of her hand. "Heidi, who do you come to visit?"
Heidi managed to move her head suddenly and flip some of hair back behind her in a way that was captivating. "I'm not sure I want to say."
She seemed to be teasing him, or so he thought. "Please honestly tell me you're not related to Snape." It was his biggest fear that she was a love-child of his. Laughter filled the room for a moment, sweet sounding that also caused her blouse to move in enticing ways, he thought, smiling along with her reaction.
"Oh, Harry, that is so funny." She used her free hand to wiped at her eyes. "No, you have absolutely nothing to worry about in regards to my being related in any way to Snape. While most Pureblood families are related somehow by now, my understanding is that he and I have nothing in common."
Harry grinned at him and let his worry bleed off. "That's a relief. Then who?"
She gave him a grin worthy of the Cheshire Cat. "I think I'll leave that as a mystery for you to unravel, at least for now. I'll tell you one day though."
"Please?" he said sadly, trying for a pout, something he hadn't tried since he was about five and had been smacked for it.
Grabbing his other hand, she shook her head with a large smile. "Good try, but no, not now."
Sighing but smiling, he said, "For now, but I will try to figure it out."
"Good, it'll be our game when we can get together. I can't come here all the time, but I shall try when I can," she told him. "If I'm available, I'll be here in this room."
"And I'll have trouble getting away, but I'll try to find you, here," he promised.
"Lovely. So, what homework are you doing today?"
"Potions," he said, losing some of his enthusiasm from a moment ago.
"Interesting, I was just reading about Potions." She let one of his hands go and picked up the book that had been moved to the side when they had sat.
Harry pulled his other hand away from her and grabbed the book, opening it up. Looking at the table of contents, he looked up at her sharply. "This is the book I needed for my homework. How?"
Heidi shrugged. "Good luck, I guess. I pick up random books at times to give myself something to read. Here, I'll get your bag."
Her hand moved so fast he couldn't follow it. The next thing he knew, she had a wand in it and was silently summoning his bag to them. Harry grabbed it when it arrived and unconsciously set it at his feet as he looked at her. "How did you do that so easily? We've been working on silent casting in Defense and it's been hard."
"Yes, it is hard at first. But the theory is easy and from there it's just lots of practice," she explained simply as if he should already know.
Harry supposed he did know, and yet… "So what is the theory you were taught, because Snape only said to just do it, or essentially that."
"One could do it that way, but it's not the best way. Come on," she told him, grabbing his hand and pulling him up and away from the settee a short distance before turning to back to face it.
"Now, we'll try something simple like the Levitation charm. Have you been able to do it completely silent?"
"No," he answered.
"Right, good choice then. Think back to first year and unlike then when you shouted every spell, just say it in a normal voice. Go ahead," she urged, "levitate your bag."
Harry pulled out his wand and with a swish and flick, he said in a normal voice, "Wingardium Leviosa." The bag lifted until he put it down.
"Very good, that's step one, but we need to correct something." She looked at him in disappointment. "Why did you say that to cast the spell?"
"It's what we were taught," he said a little defensively.
"Yes, I'm aware that's the way it's taught, but you haven't really thought about it since, have you?"
She shook her head. "Teaching is going downhill even more. Harry, you used two trigger words for the spell. What were they and what do they mean?"
"I, uh," he ran his fingers through his hair, a little embarrassed by the scrutiny she was giving him.
Slowly, she reached up and pulled his hand down. "That's very cute," she said with a winning smile, "but you're not getting out of my question that easily."
Feeling more embarrassed, he tried to focus on her face and the question. "Well, there's Wingardium and Leviosa for the words." As her eyebrow went up, he said, "I believe Leviosa is for levitate, not sure about the Wingardium."
She dropped his hand and closed her eyes. "I was afraid of that," she muttered. "All right, Harry, we need to talk theory for a moment. In magic, words have meaning," then she grinned for a moment, "unless you don't want them to."
"Huh? That's contradictory," he retorted. Her laughter came out for a moment, something he felt that could give phoenix song a run for its money.
"Words normally have meaning and are very important, unless you're to the stage of working with magic so closely that you don't need them to help you anymore, then they don't have any meaning at all. Watch this." She pointed her wand at the bag and said, "Git." The bag slowly floated up and then back down.
Harry couldn't help the grin that spread on his face. "I could make Hermione have a dragon if I could do that." At her blank look, he quickly said, "One of my best friends. She's very straight-laced about everything; a real follow the rules sort of person."
Heidi smiled now. "Yes, that would certainly twist her knickers enough to give her a wedgey."
He cracked up at that imagined visual. "I need to learn that then."
"That's step three and you haven't even completed step one yet," she told him with superiority laced with humor.
"What are the steps?" he asked.
"First, you practice saying the spell softer and softer until you don't need to say it, except perhaps in your mind. Second," she grinned, "lots and lots of practice. By that time, you shouldn't even really be saying it in your mind, but only be intending it. Then for the third part, you're really just doing the spell by intention alone and then you can say whatever you want." She pointed her wand at the bag and said, "Harry." The bag floated again for a moment before settling back on the floor.
"Right," Harry said with determination now and looked seriously at the bag. A hand covered his and pulled it back down, so he looked at her as he wondered why she had stopped him.
"You didn't answer all of the second part of my question, Harry." At his puzzled look, she asked quietly, "What does Wingardium mean?"
"I don't know," he said softly.
"It means feather and you're taught that way as a crutch to make it easier on you when you first learn. In fact, you get a little more power out of the spell by naming the object while you try to levitate it, but you really don't need to do so, and it also slows you down."
"So I only need the Leviosa word?" he asked, still a little unsure.
"Yes. Now try it a little softer too." She raised his arm back up and let go.
"Leviosa," he said a little quieter. The bag rose as before, giving him confidence.
"Again and quieter still," she directed him
Harry followed her order. Each time becoming quieter until he was whispering. Then he felt her move over until she was standing nestled next to him, his non-wand arm between her breasts she was standing so close they were touching slightly.
Whispering in his ear, she said, "Now, drop the whisper and say it only in your mind. Move your lips if you must but let no sound out. For motivation, if you can do that three times, I'll give you a kiss."
He whipped his head around and saw her move back slightly, glad she did because they were now literally nose to nose. After staring at each other and neither flinching, although he did swallow a little dryly, he felt her hand take his chin and move his head so he was looking at the bag again.
"You can do this, Harry," she whispered encouragingly.
Doing his best to block out her softness, as she had not moved, he closed his eyes for a moment to try to center himself. Ready, he looked at the bag and did as she had said. When his wand moved, the bag quivered on the ground, but didn't rise.
"Good, you're close," she continued to whisper. "I'm told you can do a Patronus. Remember how hard that was at first; this is no different. Just like you conquered it, you will conqueror this. Concentrate on your magic and try again. Feel it flow from you, to your wand, and over to the bag."
Trying to clear his mind, even of her, he looked at the bag. With a swish and flick, the bag quivered and rose in slow jerks for a few seconds before falling down.
"See," she whispered superiorly, "I told you. That's one; again."
With a smile and more confidence, Harry took a deep breath and cast again, not saying a word. The bag rose, still a little jerky, but also a little smoother. Then a third time, the bag rose with only the slightest of quivers.
Dropping his arm and closing his eyes, Harry relaxed for the first time in minutes and realized how much that had taken out of him, much like learning to cast his Patronus. As his senses came back to him, he realized a hand was on his waist and was slowly turning him.
Adjusting his stance to his new position and opening his eyes, he saw a very happy looking Heidi. Feeling her arms go around his neck as she leaned in and said, "I knew you could do it." Her kiss was gentle and yet very wonderful, nothing like his last kiss which was with Cho.
When they separated, Harry saw her slowly open her eyes and then bat them at him. "That's how you take theory and apply it successfully." She looked like she couldn't help her smile.
He couldn't help his either. "I've never had such … beautiful motivation." He banished the idea of any of his professors ever trying this as the thought even started to form.
She smiled slightly bigger and gave him a quick peck on the lips. "That's very sweet, Harry."
He couldn't help but feel the loss as her arms came down and she stepped back. "Err, thanks, but it's true. I've never had anyone really explain it like that before. You made so much sense and it was easy to understand. And," he couldn't help the slight blush, feeling his face warm, "I've never had such alluring motivation nor such a beautiful instructor."
Heidi looked at him coyly for a moment. "Be careful, Harry, you might get what you wish for and I don't know if you could handle it."
He couldn't help the slow blink of surprise, although he did suppress his initial desire. "What do you think I'm wishing for?"
Her look changed to one of more calculation before she started to walk back toward him but to the side. Slowly she walked around him, putting a hand on his shoulder and slowly dragging it around his back until she reached the other side, when he met her gaze.
With her other hand coming up, she cupped his head so he could not look away. "I've heard a lot about you, Harry. It's been hard not to actually."
As he tried to look away, her hands prevented it, so he forced himself to look into her eyes, very caring dark blue eyes he realized.
"I think this is the real Harry, not what everyone says. This is the Harry that is an incredible and dedicated wizard, although a little lacking in confidence at first. A wizard who has great power, yet hides it. A gentle soul that can still be riled and turn into a fierce competitor. And I think, or maybe it's my hope, that this Harry is looking for someone to help with the loneliness he finds at times. He has friends, but they don't really understand the loneliness."
As he stared into her dark blue eyes, he realized they weren't truly blue. They were very dark and had a hint of purple or violet. They also had the most open and caring look he had ever seen. At that moment, he knew she understood loneliness too.
Almost without thought, he moved forward the last few inches and bent his head slightly and kissed her. The kiss turned passionate and her fingers moved through his hair as his hands sought out her waist and pulled her close. He was breathing slowly and deeply as they shifted into a hug.
"How? How do you know?" he whispered hoarsely into her ear.
"I have people around me all the time," she answered, "but I really have no one. I can see it in you too." As they held each other, she also said, "I'm also afraid, Harry."
"Of what? I'll protect you," he promised the girl who had wormed her way into his life in such a short time. She was now a friend. He refused to give that more thought at the moment as that was scary to him.
"Of the same things most girls are, or most people."
He pulled back to look at her face. "What?"
"Rejection," she said simply.
Harry couldn't help his grin. "You already said you're not related to Snape." He sobered suddenly. "Wait, you're not related to me, are you? Like a lost cousin?"
She smiled a tight smile. "Probably in some very distant way, but we're not close enough for there to be any problems that way."
That gave him great relief. "Then what? I'll help you any way I can."
"You have such a wonderful heart, Harry." She pulled him back to the settee. "I have a problem and I think you may be the only one who can help me."
"Yes. Because I'm starting to care for you, I think I need to tell you something, maybe a few things." She looked down.
His guard went up; he couldn't help it. "What?"
"Please understand," she looked him in the eye and held his gaze, "that I've been completely truthful with you. I haven't told you a single lie. I've withheld some things, and maybe given you a few creative answers, but I haven't lied once and I refuse to do so. I believe I need to tell you some things so you don't think badly of me. Unlike some people, I don't want to manipulate you. I need your help, but I will do it honestly because I've come to like you and want you to like me."
Harry just blinked at her as he processed that. It was so brutally honest it was refreshing. It also started him wondering just who was trying to manipulate him. In the end, it was his curiosity about her and the fact that he trusted her that decided it.
"OK," he said gently as he sat a little straighter. "I appreciate you telling me that. It does create several new questions though."
"Only several?" she asked with a raised eyebrow and a relieved look.
"I'm sure there will be more," he told her, his better feelings from before starting to return, although he was really hoping that what she was about to say wouldn't be too bad.
Heidi cleared her throat, although her gaze never left him. "I suppose my first confession should be that I've actually known you for longer than a couple of days. I've watched you, at least when I could. I'm not a stalker or anything, but you're actually pretty hard to ignore. You have such a … presence, I guess I'll say, whenever you're around."
"Then why haven't I seen you before?" he asked, hoping she wasn't some fan girl.
"Because I'm very good at hiding and I don't always have this form," she explained.
"You're an Animagus?" That could be cool, he thought.
She smiled at him. "I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm not ready to explain that part yet."
Disappointed, he nodded anyway.
"Harry, I'd like to be around you more, and to help you more, but I'm not allowed to-"
"Because of who you come to visit here?" he cut in.
"No, because of magic, actually," she said with a grin.
"So eloquent," she teased him, causing him to look embarrassed for a moment. "No, I mean magic literally, and that's what I need your help with. I need you to remove the limiter because I can't get to it."
"I'm so confused," he shook his head as if to try to clear the cobwebs there.
She held out her hand and small silver model of Hogwarts appeared. "You've been to the Headmaster's office, right?" When he nodded, she asked, "Have you seen something like this on his shelf?"
Harry though very hard about that; there were so many trinkets in the man's office. "Maybe, but I can't be sure."
"There is a way, though. Stand up, Harry," she told him as she stood and the little model disappeared. "You know what this room can do, right?"
"Yes, it's the Room of Requirement."
With a smile, she said, "And I have a requirement."
A moment later the room changed and Harry would have sworn he was literally in the Headmaster's office. It looked so real, even down to papers on the man's desk. "I know I shouldn't' be surprised, but wow," he said softly in admiration.
"Everyone thinks the ceiling in the Great Hall is so wonderful," Heidi said. "It is, but this room is Rowena Ravenclaw's greatest accomplishment."
"I'd have to agree," Harry said as he continued to look around. "There," he pointed, "it's over there."
They both walked over to a bookshelf behind the Headmaster's desk. "It's his personal library of rare books, or I would guess," Heidi hastily added at the end.
"That will be hard to get because I don't ever go over there," Harry informed her.
"You know magic, Harry, and you're very good with the Summoning Charm," she argued.
"What would I tell him? You know he's going to ask why I grab it and try to take it."
"Then destroy it right there," she told him quietly.
"What?!" He couldn't' believe she had said that. "Why?"
"No, why? Tell me now!" he looked at her hard, wondering exactly what was going on. The room changing to a comfortable sitting room surprised him, as did her grabbing his hand and leading him back to a settee.
"I'll try to explain as much as I can. However, I can't tell you everything, not now. I'm very afraid, Harry. If you'll destroy that thing, then I'll answer all of your questions." She looked at him hopefully.
He squirmed a little. "Fine. I'm also sorry for yelling at you. It's just that you surprised me with wanting me to destroy something of the Headmaster's."
"It's not really his personally." At his questioning look, she nodded. "That device was created many years ago and, as I understand it, holds a ward or more likely several wards on the castle that prevent certain things from happening, all of them good. My ability to go anywhere in the castle is one of the things it prevents."
"But, if it's so bad, why does it exist and why wouldn't Professor Dumbledore destroy it himself?"
"Because he doesn't see it as bad," she explained. "It does something useful for the Headmaster that created it and now for Dumbledore, which is to tell him about state of the wards on the castle, but he doesn't understand that it has more bad side-effects than good."
Harry thought through that for a moment. "How do you know this?"
"I can't tell you that, or rather I don't think I should tell you that." At his dark look, she stopped his reply with, "No, Harry, please listen for a moment. You saw that I have your interests in mind when I taught you how to cast silently, right?"
"I don't know that that says that you have my best interests in mind, but I do appreciate the help," he replied back, still not sure what he should believe yet.
"Harry, please, I do care for you, as a person and fellow user of magic for certain. My feelings may be more, but that's not important right now."
He blinked in surprise. "You really like me, as in like … me?"
"I do," she told him with a smile. "It surprised me at first, which is why I'm hesitant, plus I don't want you to think I'm trying to manipulate you."
The thought of her liking him for being him was very appealing, but he had to set that aside. "I appreciate the effort, but we need to go back to you and that thing, and please answer honestly."
Heidi nodded. "Harry, as you've seen, I have a good connection with my magic. I don't want to boast, but I'm very, very good because I'm so close to my magic. In time and with my help, you could be almost as good, but that's something to talk about another time. My point is that I can feel how that thing affects me. I can't tell you how that works, but please trust me that it is so."
Harry considered that and decided that he'd heard stranger things. "What happens if I were to destroy it?"
"A perceived problem is that the Headmaster would not be so in-tune with the castle's wards. Now, that device gives him a connection to the wards so he knows their state whenever he wants. Without that device, he'd have to perform several spells."
"I think that would make him very upset," Harry said.
Heidi chuckled. "There's an understatement," she said ruefully. "The positive is that its destruction would remove various limits on the castle and on me too. The founders put protections on the castle and that thing prevents all of them from working. You would be safer in this castle," she looked at him caringly, "in many ways. Most if not all of your adventures here wouldn't have happened, or so I believe."
It was official, he was shocked. "Seriously?"
"Very. That level of protection exists, but that thing is blocking it as well as other things," she insisted, "including something that prevents me from being able to go anywhere in the school."
"That's … that would be … wow," he finally got out.
Heidi giggled before she reached out and grasped both of his hands and made him look at her. "Harry, there's one more thing."
"What now?" he said a little playfully and matching her, while still trying to come to terms with what he'd heard.
"I promise, that if you destroy that thing, I will be whoever you want. You want a friend? I'll be that. You want someone to snog from time to time? I'll be happy to. You want to learn everything about women?" She gave him a hungry look. "I'm willing. But most importantly, and this is my deepest wish above all others. If you want someone who's your best friend, someone to be there with you in life, someone to share your life with, I'd like to be that someone. And even if you want none of that, I'll still help you defeat Voldemort and survive."
Harry gulped, he couldn't help it. She appealed to him, her as she was; they seemed to connect so well too. Her final offer though was almost beyond belief. "You can help me default Voldemort? Truly?"
"If you destroy that ugly limiter, then yes I can and I will. If you help me, I will help you with all of my abilities and they are much better than what I've shown you so far," she told him with confidence.
"All right, you have a deal." He couldn't prove this was the right thing to do, but somehow he knew it was so.
The words were barely out of his mouth before she sprung at him and kissed him hard, except that the kiss didn't last long because she lost her balance and started to tumble. The two held on to each other as they rolled off the couch, landing on her and then rolling over so she was on top at the end.
"Are you OK?" he asked her worriedly.
She blinked at him a few times as she took a couple of deep breaths. "I think so, that just surprised me more than anything, I think. However," she grinned impishly at him, "I think I like the end result of our accident." She lowered her head and kissed him.
Harry grinned as she sat up, resting her bum on his lower stomach and bringing her knees forward so she could sit comfortably. He knew he probably shouldn't have been, but he was so at ease with her. He got along with her better than even with Hermione.
That thought yanked him back to his normal world. "Err, what time is it? I was supposed to meet my friends for lunch?"
Heidi laughed and shook her head. "Lunch should be ending about now. Why don't you have lunch with me here and then you can go find them?"
"I guess I could call an elf here, right?" He wasn't sure but hoped Dobby could hear him.
Heidi chuckled again. "It's easier than that in here." She stood up and helped him stand up too before she pointed to the table of food not too far away.
"Right," he said sheepishly as they walked over.
They joked and talked about life over lunch. At the end when he was about to leave, she called out, "Wait!" She grabbed the potions book that was still there and waved her wand over it. Several pages of parchment appeared, which she handed to him. "I think this is the information you were wanting. Now go be with your friends," she told him.
"What about you?" he asked, his curiosity about her up again.
"I have something to do here. Go on. When you have free time, come look for me here again. Maybe I'll be here, although it'll mostly be on the weekends," she told him before she kissed him gently and pushed him towards the door.
Harry smiled at her. "Definitely friends; we'll have to see if there's more or not."
"I'm fine with that," she assured him, although her look was hopeful for more.
Leaving the very magical room, he headed back towards his dorm. A quick glance at the parchments in his hand show him that it was exactly what he needed for his homework, so that time wasn't wasted.
Shaking his head as he considered it all. No, there was no wasted time this morning. He wouldn't give it up for anything. There were still several very serious questions she'd need to answer, but he had enjoyed every minute of his time with Heidi.
He also determined that he would destroy that thing for her. He was very sure she hadn't put the Imperius on him, and despite his questions about her, he was sure her task was the right thing to do. He had no idea why he thought that, but it was a gut feeling and he was going to follow it.
As he rounded the last corner before the entrance to Gryffindor Tower, he saw Dean and Ginny walking hand and hand and talking quietly. It wasn't until he walked through the portrait hole that he realized those fluttery feelings in his chest when he was around Ginny were gone. Instead, he had felt them for a brief moment when he was leaving Heidi.
"Where have you been, Harry?" Hermione asked as he entered the common room, causing him to forget about girls in general for a moment.
Ron didn't seem to be there, and Harry was grateful for one less person to quiz him. "Walking and gathering information for my homework," he said, holding up the parchments in his hand as he continued to his dorm room.
Upstairs, he put his things down and dropped back on his bed to think. Heidi was absolutely amazing, and her understanding of magic was incredible based on what he had seen. He thought it would be fun to see Heidi and Hermione have a contest; he strongly suspected Heidi would win. As fun as that thought was, he started to think about how to get that device in the Headmaster's office and hoped the Headmaster called him back soon.