Harry gets a girlfriend...
SPECIAL DISCLAIMER: This chapter is named after the song "The Experience of Love," by Eric Serra, which can be found on the soundtrack to the 007 movie /GoldenEye/. You can also view the refrain to it in this chapter. (While posting lyrics to entire songs might be frowned upon at various websites, posting only a few lines of a song isn't so bad.)
Chapter 7: The Experience of Love
Harry sighed. He knew this topic would come up eventually.
However, he had considered and thought about what he would say. He obviously had to leave out the parts pertaining to magic.
So what would Harry tell to Amanda?
They both made for his dorm room, and after securely locking the door and shutting the window, Harry sat down on his bed with Amanda next to him.
"Amanda," he said after collecting his thoughts, "This is a topic I don't want to bring up ever again. I'm only telling you this because you have been honest with me, and this is the least I can do to return the favor. I'm purposefully omitting certain details, because I'm not obliged to talk about them, and I don't think you'd believe me, anyway."
Amanda nodded in acknowledgement, and Harry went on.
"My parents died when I was a year old. I was left with these awful relatives who resented the fact I was forced to live with them. I hated it.
"When I was eleven, I got this invitation to the boarding school my parents went to. I made some friends there, for the first time in my life. Two of them were my closest friends, and were like brother and sister to me. One of them came from this big family, where he was the youngest of six sons, and they were like surrogate family to me. I trusted most of the staff, who, coincidentally, had been teaching there since when my parents were students. I also made acquaintances with some other adults who had been friends with my parents. I had a few rivals, but overall, life was good."
Harry paused for a moment, deciding what and what not to say.
"After my fifth year, there was an incident for which people thought I was responsible. They expelled me without listening to me, and my so-called 'friends' and 'surrogate family' abandoned and betrayed me. They said all kinds of nasty things to me before they tossed me out."
Harry clenched and unclenched his fists as he said this, and his figure now seemed to display an aura of anger and grief.
"A year later, they found the real person who was responsible after she gloated in their faces about it, thinking she could get away with it. After all was said and done, my former friends and such tried to apologize and have me back, and that blasted headmaster, one of whom I trusted the most, was even trying to get me back into school as a student with the excuse of me being a minor. They only wanted my forgiveness so they could feel better and pretend it never happened, and get me back just so they could look good and save whatever reputations they had left. So, after killing their plans, I just packed up my stuff and left for good."
A heavy silence hung in the air as Amanda wondered exactly what happened which was so terrible.
"Anyway, it's all done and in the past. That was another time for me, and I've taken all sorts of measures so they can't find me. It's been nearly two years since I last saw them, and if I'm really lucky and fortunate, I'll never see those hypocrites ever again."
A long, uneasy silence followed as Harry was lost in his thoughts. He didn't dare look at Amanda, afraid of seeing her reaction.
Finally, he heard her voice. "I don't think any less of you, if that's what you're afraid of. And I promise you that what you said will not leave this room."
Harry nodded in acknowledgement.
"I haven't exactly had a happy life myself. I never really had any friends in school, and I didn't fit in at my last college /at all/. You're probably one of the first people I really got along with."
Harry lifted his head at that. He looked into Amanda's face for the first time since the beginning of his explanation. To his immense relief, she wasn't looking at him with fear, pity, or some other undesirable emotion. Her beautiful eyes seemed to glow with something he couldn't quite identify...
"If you don't mind me asking, Amanda, what were things like for you?"
With a sad smile, she brushed her hair aside as she thought about it. "I don't know... I guess some people just saw me as a nerd or something and didn't socialize much with me. I was something of a loner, anyway. I probably spent more time with my art sketchbooks or writing notebooks, even my cats, than I did with other people. College was the same thing, only somewhat worse than before."
"Hm," Harry commented quietly. While he was staring into space, lost in his thoughts, her hand crept across the bed and found his.
He didn't let go; he didn't want to.
Leaning close to him, she had her face inches away from his. She whispered, "Harry, I think you're a very noble, generous young man. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise."
Harry didn't know what quite got into him at that moment, because the next moment, she was in his arms and being kissed passionately.
Amanda was ecstatic; here she was, in the embrace of the guy she'd had her eye on for some time, who obviously liked her as more than just a friend.
Harry felt like he was in a completely new world before, feeling things he had never felt before. He could feel her body against his, smell her hair and skin, taste her kiss...
As he withdrew, Harry could see her smiling, her eyes almost sparkling. "About time," she whispered. "You know, you're a very good kisser. Very huggable, too. However, as they always say, practice makes perfect..."
"Who am I to object?" Harry asked rhetorically as she leaned in again.
A couple of hours later, Harry glanced at the time on his clock and saw that it was time for dinner.
Both of them sat upright, straightened themselves out, and went to dinner together.
A few weeks later, the people in charge of entertainment at the college put on a movie, which Amanda convinced Harry into coming to. It turned out to be the 007 flick /GoldenEye/, and Harry decided that this could be interesting.
Settling back in their seats, Harry and Amanda looked forward to
He enjoyed it as much as the audience, although at one point in the movie he nearly zoned out. During the eerie scene in the Soviet statue junkyard as 007 learned everything about the betrayal of his former best friend, Harry felt himself thinking back to his own betrayal by those he considered his friends, and felt rage slowly course through his being...
"Harry?" Amanda whispered, snapping him out of it. "Are you okay?"
With a small jolt, Harry returned back to normal. "Hm? Oh, yes, I'm fine."
"We don't have to watch this if you don't want to," she whispered in a concerned tone.
"No, it's okay, just... thinking about something, that's all."
With that said and done, both of them went back to watching the rest of the movie.
During the credits, Harry allowed himself to relax and sat there, his arm around Amanda's shoulder and resting his head against hers. He felt just listened to the music during the end credits ("The Experience of Love," by Eric Serra), allowing his negative feelings to ebb.
Harry listened to the words, thinking about them: "The experience of lovin' won't take all the pain away ... Just understanding for the first time ... what you feel inside ... love is in your life..."
"Nice song?" Amanda asked with a grin on her face.
"It was... /interesting/," Harry said, not really hearing any songs like it before.
"Yeah, it was a bit unusual," Amanda replied.
Five minutes later, both of them were walking the grounds under the starry night sky back to Harry's dorm to study some more Latin for an upcoming exam. Amanda's hand found his, and after that he didn't let go of hers.
Harry sat on his bed with his book open while Amanda sat in the chair at the desk (this was the best they could do, since his room was a single and therefore didn't have as much room as a double). As both of them quizzed each other, they slowly but eventually broke away from the exercises and tried holding their own conversations in Latin, based on what knowledge they had on the language.
"Amavi nostrum temporem simul hac nocte," Amanda told him. ("I enjoyed our time together this night.")
"Id erat mirabile, modo esse tecum," Harry replied with a grin. ("It was worth it, just to be with you.")
"Amasne me?" ("Do you love me?")
Harry rolled his eyes. "Quid genus quaestionis est illa? Amo te vere!" ("What kind of question is that? I truly love you!")
After a moment of silence (in which Amanda flashed a radiant smile), Harry added, "Did you know your name 'Amanda' comes from the verb /amare/?"
Flipping ahead through the book to the chapter on participles (they would be learning those in at least a few weeks) and saw something interesting. "According to this, the passive future participle of amare is /amandus//, -a, -um/. Translates to something like 'to be loved' or 'about to be loved.'"
Amanda chuckled at the irony. "You truly are a sweet guy," she said, walking over to the bed and sitting next to him.
Harry couldn't help but blush a little; he was still getting used to some aspects of this relationship. "Thanks."
Amanda tossed her hair back and put an arm over his shoulder, drawing him closer. Going along with it, Harry resisted the urge not to look down her shirt.
Without further ado, Amanda eased him into a reclining position and kissed him passionately. Harry wrapped his arms around her and began to return the favor as he drew her even closer so she was right up against him.
As Harry's hands wandered down her back, they grazed an area of skin between her shirt and her jeans. Amanda noticed this and paused for a moment. With a coy grin on her face, she whispered, "Want to take things a little bit further?"
Harry felt the heat hit his face instantly when he realized what she was implying. "Sorry about that, I - "
Amanda quietly shushed him. "I know it was unintentional. Still... I have no problem with doing... other things."
Getting upright so he could sit up straight, Harry looked Amanda in the eye. "Amanda... Believe me, I am glad to be in this kind of relationship with you. However... I just have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing at times." After a moment of silence, Harry said, "Remember one of the first exercises in our Latin book in chapter 1? Mone/ me si erro./ Warn me if I err."
"Yeah, I remember that..."
"My point is... well, since I have no idea what to do all the time... let me know if I do something I shouldn't...?"
"I think I get the idea," Amanda told him with a sincere and reassuring grin.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks."
"Not a problem," Amanda replied, reclining back onto the bed as one of her hands fingered the edge of her shirt.
Getting the message, Harry leaned in and resumed what they had been doing.
Fifteen minutes later, both teens lay next to each other after making out some more, tired but happy as they talked quietly. After a few minutes of silence while Harry had been thinking, he realized that Amanda had dozed off. He considered waking her up, but decided not to.
"Goodnight, Amanda," he whispered in her ear as he reached over to the light switch and shut it off.
Light slowly crept through the blinds the next morning as Harry slowly woke up. With one hand propping his head and the other wrapped around Amanda's waist, the previous night's memories came back to him. Smiling, he thought, 'I'll always remember last night... that was /great/.'
With a moan and a yawn, Amanda's eyes fluttered open. "Good morning, Amanda," Harry said cheerfully.
Turning around, Amanda faced him and smiled. "Good morning to you too, Harry."
"It's still early, and I think you can get back to your dorm room before anyone notices," Harry told her. "You know... before rumors fly."
Stretching, Amanda got up and packed her things. With one last kiss and a farewell, she left.
Still smiling, Harry rolled onto his back. 'She's one in a million.'
(End of Chapter 7.)
A/N: So, how was this chapter? I have mixed feelings myself about how this one turned out.
Note regarding this chapter in general: Between the extra information in Harry's explanation to Amanda and the scene with the movie, I hope this chapter was at least satisfactory.
Note regarding this new stage in their relationship: Yes, they've gotten a little intimate, but that's as far as it's gotten at this point. And I've tried to keep it as nondescript as possible for the sake of the rating. (Also, I hope I've kept this as realistic as possible; I'm trying my best here!)
Note regarding what Harry's former friends and such have been up to: YES, I know you're all dying to see the extent of the damage that's been caused, but please be patient; I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Next chapter is a quick sketch of the next several years (or at least with what I'm planning)... -Quillian