Harry and Daphne's 2nd Date part one. Tracey and Hermione worry, Neville tells them off.
Harry Potter and the Marriage Contracts.
Chapter Four - The Outing
September 12, 1997
Queens Street Station Apparation Point:
Every color in the universe swam before Daphne's eyes until they coalesced into the blazing green of the eyes of Harry Potter. His hands on her waist kept her upright. She found she could breathe again. Breaking his grasp she stumbled backwards a step.
"Bloody Hell Potter, what did you do? Where are we?"
"We're at the Apparition Point in Glasgow's Queens Street train station."
"Why did you bring me here? We aren't allowed to leave Hogsmeade! You're going to get me expelled! What the bloody hell were you thinking about?"
"In the order you asked. I brought you her to do some shopping in a place you don't know. We are both adults, and can leave the school any time we want and remain completely within the rules. You aren't going to be expelled, and I was thinking that you might enjoy seeing someplace new and completely outside your experience. You did ask me to surprise you. If you like I'll take you back."
"We can leave Hogsmeade?"
"Because we're over 17, yes. The staff doesn't advertise that fact, but it is within the rules."
"What are we doing here?"
"I put a lot of thought in to showing you a good time." He took her hand and led her off the apparition point to one of the benches that lined the spacious room. "You were saying that after three years there was nothing in Hogsmeade that was new. I figured that the same could be said for Diagon Alley. But then I asked myself, what were the chances you had ever gone Muggle?"
Daphne's breathing had calmed. She wasn't quite as angry any longer. "You're sure that this isn't going to get me expelled?"
He nodded. "Not even killed" Her eyes widened. "Sorry, bad joke from first year. We're perfectly safe, and not in any trouble. If Dumbledore trumps up any rules to try and punish you, just claim I took you against your will. There's no trace of your magical signature in the apparition, and I'm a well known malcontent."
"Oh Harry, you idiot." Daphne closed her eyes for a moment. "What is there to do in the Muggle World?"
"Not much. Shopping, restaurants, dancing."
"I like shopping." She said with a hint of a smile. "I've never been to a restaurant."
"The shops are waiting for us." He stood and offered her his hand. "When did I become 'Harry'?
"You scared me almost to death, I wasn't in my right mind Potter." She pushed him. "Where are these shops you were talking about?"
Harry led her to the door of the apparation point. The door opened out into the train station. After the door closed, Daphne looked back to see what appeared to be a maintenance closet. She had never seen so many people, all bustling back and forth, not an obvious wizard or witch in sight. She held on to Harry's arm and pulled tight to him. "Are we safe here?"
"Of course we are." Harry said quietly. "Come on Daphne, Hermione told me you were in her Muggles Studies class; these aren't 12th century peasants willing to burn people different than themselves at the stake. They're just people. Some bad, most are fairly good. These days they just shun people different than themselves, and write scathing letters to the Editor of their favorite news paper about sending those 'freaks' back where they came from. I'll not let anything happen to you. Just keep holding on to my arm like that and you'll look like my girl friend."
"Are you sure no one will recognize you? I mean, you're famous."
"Not here. No one here knows me from Adam, just the way I like it." They had reached the station exits, and stepped out to the busy sidewalks and the even busier streets. Daphne gasped at the traffic. "Take it easy, those are autos. Stay out of their way and you're perfectly safe."
"But there are so many people"
"Yes, Glasgow's a fairly big city." Walking with Daphne clinging to his arm was a very different experience. "So what kind of shopping do you like?"
"Tracey and I usually got for our school robes and other clothing. I could use some quills."
"Well, robes never really caught on in the wider world, and I don't think anyone's used a quill for about a century. Let's see what there is." Harry guided her into a pedestrian shopping district. "I spent a few weeks in Glasgow this summer. I got to know parts of town fairly well." Harry was jerked to a stop when Daphne suddenly halted in her tracks staring at a display window.
"What is this?"
"It's just a shoe shop."
"You mean this entire shop is for shoes?"
"I think they sell other leather goods like purses and handbags, but yes, it's a shoe shop. There are probably half a dozen on this street alone." Harry was confused, why the interest in a shoe shop?
"We need to go in there." Her eyes wide. "We need to go in there right now."
"Alright." Harry smiled. A shoe shop? Why did she need to go in a shoe shop? Ah well, how long could it take?
Two hours and forty minutes later Daphne nudged Harry awake. "I don't have any Muggle money."
"Oh, no problem, I've got it." He dug into his pocket.
"I'll pay you back." She said leading him to the register where 9 shoe boxes and a happy sales clerk waited. Harry's eyes widened, and the clerk's smile got wider. She must be on commission Harry thought as he opened his wallet.
The pattern repeated it's self in clothing shop a few meters down the road. As soon as Daphne had the sales clerks occupied he quietly shrunk the large shopping bags to a much more manageable sized and secured them in a jacket pocket. It turned out that shopping for clothing was far more interesting that shoe shopping. With each outfit change Daphne would emerge from the fitting rooms for his evaluation. Usually his evaluation involved attempting to refrain from drooling on his shoes, which pleased Daphne to no end. Still by the time she had decided on the four new outfits (it seemed that one didn't buy a single item, everything to be worn with it had to 'go together'.) Harry's stomach was growling.
Paying the bill he turned to the happily excited young witch. "Feel like getting some lunch?"
"Oh yes." She leaned into him as they exited the shop. "I don't know about Muggle food. Is it safe?"
"There are more than six billion Muggles Daphne, their food is safe. Have you ever had Pizza?"
"Pizza? I don't know what that is."
Seated in the chain restaurant, Harry placed an order for a Sausage pizza with extra cheese, figuring that would be the least exotic combination available from Daphne's point of view. While he was doing this, she was going over the receipts for her purchases.
"How much is this in real money? I can't figure it out."
"Figure seventy five pounds to the Galleon. That's not exact, but it's close enough."
"Are you serious? All this is so cheap. How is that possible?"
"Something about mass production and competition. The Muggles are in a global market. I don't know exactly how it works, but it has produced fortunes and markets of plenty for those with money. In the Wizarding world, everything is made to order, in the Muggle world almost nothing is."
Daphne nodded. "The clerk asked me for my shoe size, I had no idea what she meant. She had this metal rule thing that she used to find my size. Seven and a Half by the way."
Under the table he shrunk the clothing she had purchased, and that joined the shoes in his jacket's inside pocket. "Oh, while you were shoe shopping, I ducked over to the stationary store next door. I got you this." He handed over a small box.
Daphne opened the box, it contained a short stick and three metal shapes. They appeared to be made of gold. She looked up questioningly."
"You said you needed quills. That is what the Muggles call a calligraphy pen. Those nibs should outlast a few hundred quills."
Daphne was amazed at the gift. Examining the pen she found herself wondering why the Magical world didn't use such devices, eliminating the maintenance and constant replacement of quills.
"Thank you Harry." She leaned over and kissed him.
Harry started to say something when the pizza arrived. He thanked the server and put a slice on each of their plates. "Ok, first of all, pizza is hot. If you're not careful you will burn the roof of your mouth. I know I do just about every time I have some. Some people like to add cheese to their pizza" he indicated the shaker of ground cheese. "And some people like to add peppers to it" she showed her the shaker of a red flakey mixture. You can cut it with your knife and fork like a civilized human being, but pizza was meant to be eaten with your hands." He picked up his slice and took a bite. Daphne replicated his actions, and her eyes went wide at the flavors.
"This is good!" she exclaimed. "Why don't we get this at school?"
"I think Dumbledore's head would explode if someone introduced a new concept to the school." Harry laughed, not without a little bitterness.
"There are other flavors?"
"Sort of. There are several different ingredients that can be put on a pizza in different combinations. Some, in my opinion are awful, but most are great." Daphne had already moved on to a second slice. "So, I'm Harry again?"
She looked deeply into his eyes. "I think so. I'm having fun. More than I thought I would."
"Good." Something seemed to occur to him. "Today is all about introducing you to new things, right?"
"So it seems."
"Does the Wizarding world have works of fiction? Probably a dumb question, but I've never run into any."
"Yes. Novels and plays, like that."
"Have you ever heard of a Muggle invention called a 'Motion Picture'?"
Harry led Daphne to some very comfortable seats in the most luxurious theater she had ever seen. The theater was almost empty for this matinée, Harry found what he considered to be the best seats in the house, front row, first balcony.
"Any questions about this?"
"No, not really. This is like a play, but done with images, like a Wizards photograph, only it has sound." She wasn't going to tell Harry that she was prepared to be under whelmed. He had shown her so many new and interesting things today, but there was no way that this Muggle 'Motion Picture' could possibly impress her, even if the theater did.
The theater darkened, and the huge white screen in front of her flickered with light. Orchestral music of such clarity it startled her suddenly boomed out into the theater, she craned her neck attempting to spot the musicians, and was surprised to find the orchestra pit empty.
Suddenly the words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." appeared on the screen, followed by the words /Star Wars/in a stylized font over a field of what appeared to be stars, but not stars familiar to her from Astronomy class. Scrolling from the bottom of the screen towards a vanishing point at the horizontal center were the words "Episode IV ANEW HOPE" followed by more words. She leaned over to Harry, taking his hand into hers "Episode Four?"
"I'll explain later. For now just watch, this is so good."
"That was AMAZING." Daphne was practically jumping up and down.
"I thought you'd like it."
Harry looked at his watch. 5:05. "We've got a decision to make."
"What do you mean Harry?"
"If we want to get back to the castle before they lock the gates we need to leave within the next half hour."
"Then what is the decision?"
"I'm not ready for this date to end. I would like to take you to dinner, then dancing. We could spend the night at my home, then tomorrow one last surprise. But it's your decision. We'll do whatever you want to do."
"Do you want to sleep with me Harry?"
"Yes, but I'm not asking for that. There are 12 bedrooms in my family's home, and three more in the guest house. You can have any of them you want."
"Who else would be there?"
"My two elves."
"You have elves? I wouldn't have thought that what with Granger and her silly SPEW."
"Dobby and Winky are free elves, I pay them, but that's neither here nor there. I'm having a good time with you Daphne. You have no idea how hard that is. Either the girl thinks of me as 'The Boy Who Lived' or is a Muggle I can't be myself around. I don't know how you actually think of me, but I know that you treat me like just another guy."
"You're fooling yourself. If you were just another guy, I never would have had anything to do with you. I do trust you Harry, but ..."
"Come on Daphne, take a chance. I'll make you breakfast."
"Yeah, the elves hate it, but I do a killer omelet."
Daphne thought for a moment. There were so many reasons to return to the school. There were also so many reasons not to. She had to admit that she was having more fun than she could ever remember. Tracey would be waiting for her, and would give her holy hell if she spent the night with Harry... Potter... no, with Harry.
Her father would be furious. That alone was the best reason she could think of to stay with Harry. That could be her first down payment on his putting that damned 'clause 9' in the contract he sent Harry.
Word would spread throughout the school in minutes if she stayed with him...
"Alright Harry, but I'll need to send Tracey a note."
"We can stop by the manor and use my owl Hedwig." He smiled. "You could change into that little red number you bought, that'll wow them at the club."
September 12, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Tracey Davis sat unobtrusively on one of the benches that lined the walls of the Entry Hall pretending to read. 6pm. The last of the shops in Hogsmeade closed an hour ago, the last carriage had arrived half an hour after that. Where were they?
Tracey had been fiercely protective of Daphne since first year. Almost instantly Tracey had recognized that Daphne had been so very fragile back then. Tracey had four brothers and knew how to take care of her self so she had adopted her new friend as a surrogate sister.
A large white owl flew in the door, and roosted on the shoulder of one of the suits of armor across the hallway from Tracey. Concerned about her friend Tracey never noticed. The Owl regarded the girl for a moment, and then barked to get her attention.
Tracey rose from her seat on the bench and approached the majestic bird. "You're Potter's owl aren't you?" The owl bobbed its head. That startled the Slytherin witch. Did the bird actually understand questions like that? "Is Daphne in trouble?" she asked feeling stupid for actually talking to an owl and halfway expecting a response. Her feelings of shock rose to new levels when the bird shook its head. "Do you have a message for me?" The owl bobbed its head again and offered its left leg.
Trying not to think about the oddity of an owl that actually appeared to respond to direct questions Tracey took the parchment from the Snowy Owl's leg. "Thank you." The owl bobbed its head again, and took wing. That had easily been the most disconcerting thing Tracey had ever been part of. She shuddered, and then unfolded the parchment.
Having so much fun. Harry has discovered that there is no requirement that students over the age of majority remain in Hogsmeade during Hogsmeade Weekends. Harry has taken me shopping and to an amazing Muggle show. Did you know that Muggle have ENTIRE SHOPS dedicated to selling shoes? We had a marvelous lunch and will be going out to dinner and dancing as soon as I finish this. We will not be returning to the castle tonight, Harry's taking me to his home for the night. He tells me he has something planned for tomorrow as well.
Please don't worry about me Tracey, you know you get all melancholy when you worry. I am having a wonderful time. Harry has been a complete gentleman. Don't worry and quit waiting for me at the door.
Mixed emotions warred inside Tracey. Rage at the casual way Daphne announced she was spending the night with Potter. What had that bloody arrogant Gryffindor done to Daphne? He had her calling him by his first name. There was also relief in the face that she was in fact safe. The use of the codeword they had established first year 'melancholy', showed that she wasn't under duress and actually was enjoying her self. It was so infuriating. If Potter hurt her in any way Tracey was going to personally disembowel him.
"They're not back yet?"
Tracey had been concentrating on the letter and her internal turmoil, otherwise Granger would never have managed to get this close without Tracey noticing.
"They're not coming. Potter has convinced her that she should spend the night with him."
"Oh, My." A part of Tracey was pleased that she had managed to shock the Head Girl. "It can't be that. Harry hardly knows her."
"Oh yes. He's taken her shopping, taken her to a show, taking her to some special dinner, then drinking and dancing at a club before taking her to his home for the night.. Obviously he's thinking she's his long lost sister."
"I think I know Harry Potter better than you do." The brunette huffed.
"You knew the Harry Potter who was terrified he was going to die. You don't know the Harry Potter who survived and won. You have been too busy fucking Weasley to pay him any attention at all."
"You don't know what you're talking about. I know Harry better than anyone."
"Sure you do Granger. Sure you do."
September 12, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Gryffindor Heads Suite Common Room:
"You wanted to see me Hermione?"
"Yes, thank you for coming Neville."
Neville Longbottom was more than a little surprised to find Tracey Davis waiting with Hermione. This had to be about Harry, why else would these particular two witches want to talk to him.
"We're concerned about Harry and Daphne Greengrass. They haven't come back from a date, and since you know them both, we were hoping that you might be able to shed some light on where they might be."
"You're both kidding right? What possible business is it of either of you what they might be doing?"
"No, you look Davis" Neville interrupted, sitting down. "Both Harry and Daphne are adults; both are completely within their rights to spend the weekend away from this school. They have broken no rules; they have no requirements to report in to either of you. Hermione, you've said maybe a dozen words to Harry since the term began. You have no claim on him or his time. Davis, you have to realize that Daphne isn't the frightened eleven year old who needed you for everything anymore. She's grown up and is capable of making her own choices and if need be mistakes. Her going out with Harry isn't a mistake. It's good for both of them."
"Longbottom..." Tracey's stony facade broke. "Neville, I know she trusts you, but she's my friend too. That means I get to worry about her."
Hermione found herself stung by the truths Neville had just told her about herself. "Can you at least tell us where they are?"
Neville checked his watch. Its 8:30, if everything is going to plan, they should be in a club that Harry and I own in London. No I won't tell you what the name of the club is; they deserve a chance to have fun. Harry plans call for them to stay at the club as long as Daphne wants, then go to his home for the night. He has another outing planned for tomorrow afternoon if Daphne would like, then to return to the castle for dinner."
"So, he's planning on getting her into bed is he?"
"Grow up Tracey. Harry planned out a date to broaden Daphne's horizons beyond School, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and you. He isn't executing a master plan to get her into bed. If that's what he wanted he could have had it, and you know that. Will they sleep together? I don't know. I hope they do. They are both good people who haven't had all that much good happen to them in their lives. They are both my friends. If they want you two to know what happened on their date they will tell you." Neville stood up. "If you will excuse me, I'm late for a stroll around the castle with my fiance" The two women stared silently as Neville left the room.
“What Happened to that shy little fat boy at the sorting?” Tracey asked rhetorically.
“I guess he grew up. I’m starting to wonder if I did.” Hermione was more than a little angry at herself. “First you point out that I’d all but abandoned Harry, now Neville has told me the same thing.” The brunette sighed. “I have to make the evening report to Professor McGonagall. Would you like to come along?”
Tracey thought for a moment, and then shrugged. “Why not?”
September 12, 1997
The Toad and The Stag:
Stepping out of the alleyway they had apparated to Harry and Daphne made their way to the line waiting to get in the club.
“Maybe we should try another club Harry; it doesn’t look like that queue has moved in a while.”
“Don’t worry Daphne. Getting in here won’t be a problem.” He led her to the head of the queue where a large muscular man was standing guarding a velvet rope. “Evening Geoffrey.”
The man’s glower brightened into a smile. “Evening Mr. Potter, coming in tonight?”
The rope was removed and the pair passed through to the entry.
“Why’d you let that kid in?” Daphne heard from the queue.
“He bloody well owns the place mate.” Geoffrey responded as the door closed behind them.
“Mr. Potter, good to see you.” The well dressed hostess said when she caught sight of Harry. “Will Mr. Longbottom be joining you tonight?”
“Neville’s busy Candice, but I’ll let him know you asked after him. How’s the crowd tonight?”
“Loud, having a good time, and spending money.”
“Excellent. Got a table for two?”
“Of course Mr. Potter, your table is always available. This way please.”
“So, you own this club?” Daphne asked when they were seated and waiting for their drinks.
“Neville Longbottom and I bought it last May. A partnership to celebrate surviving Voldemort. It was already a popular club, but it was showing its age. We closed for a month, practically rebuilt the physical plant, updated everything to the current state of the art, hired good people to run it, contracted the financials to Gringotts and come by when we’re in town.” He looked around. “We intended it to be a local club, but it’s become something of a tourist trap.”
Daphne looked around. A huge bar covered one entire wall, there was a small gift shop that sold shirts and other items with the clubs logo on it. The dance floor was huge (and crowded) and lit from below. The sound system pounded out what she had learned was called a techno-dance beat. The music was so unlike anything she had ever heard before, but she couldn’t deny it made her want to dance. And the people, there were just so many people.
Their drinks arrived, a coffee for him, a white wine for her (“I’m apparating” He explained.)
“This music is just so… different.” She said over the pounding beat.
“Yeah, the Muggle born and raised all say the same things about Wizarding Music. I figure a tune is a tune, as long as it’s got a beat, you can dance to it. Do you want to dance?”
Together they went to the dance floor. “I don’t know these dances.” She said in his ear.”
“Look at everyone else, there are no special steps, just move to the music, have fun, and try not to make me look too clumsy.” Harry responded.
It was as Harry said, just do what the others are doing and fit in. Dancing with Harry was energetic sweaty fun, occasionally the music slowed and the couples clung to one another. These ‘slow’ dances she especially liked, molding herself to him, enjoying the scent of him. During one of these dances she kissed him, and he returned the kiss.. They quit moving during the kiss, and were startled to find that the music had stopped and the dance floor cleared without their noticing it. They were pulled out of their trances by the whoops from their ‘audience’, and they retreated back to their table.
“Merlin, it’s after 1.” Daphne exclaimed looking at her watch.
“Is it? I’d best get us home. This place closes at 2 a.m. Best to avoid the rush.”
Harry led Daphne into the back of the club, into the office area. They entered the office marked “Manager”. Harry pulled her into a hug, and they were gone.
The pair appeared in the foyer of Potter Manor. Dobby appeared as soon as they did.
“Good morning Harry Potter sir.”
“Good Morning Dobby. Did you get a bedroom ready for Miss Greengrass?”
“Oh yes Harry Potter sir. Miss’s room is Blue Room next to Harry Potter Sir’s suite. Winky will be serving Miss. If Miss is needing help, she should just call Winky.”
“Thank you Dobby.” Harry offered Daphne his arm. “Shall we?”
Daphne took his arm as he led her up a flight of stairs. Harry stopped outside a door. “This is your room. If you need anything, just call Winky. If you need me, I’ll be in the next room down the hall.”
“Do you want to come in?”
“Oh Merlin, yes. But not this time Daphne. If we did, it would only confirm everything Tracey thinks about me. If we make a go of a relationship, we should come in to it without any baggage. I think we should wait until we know what we want to do about us. Is this a onetime thing or the beginnings of something more permanent.”
“Thank you for today Harry.”
“Hey now, the date’s not over yet, we’ve still got Sunday…”
She interrupted him with another kiss. After they broke the kiss, he stepped back and leaned against the wall. Daphne heard him mutter “God I hate being noble.” Before he looked up and smiled. “Good Night.”
“Good night Harry.”